The east mound

A double grave?

The East mound, the largest of the monuments, was excavated in 1847.

Various interpretations as to dating exist. The archaeologist and professor Sune Lindqvist (1887-1976) suggested that it was erected around 500 AD, or in the early 6th century (The Migration Period), while the archaeologist John Ljungkvist places it around 550-600 AD (The Vendel Period).

The east mound is around 9 metres tall and its oval shape measures around 75 by 55 metres.

At the mounds base was a stone cairn covering a burial urn with burnt bone.

Remains of two persons

So who was buried there?

One interpretation is that it is a double grave, with two individuals. One was a boy, only 10 to 14 years old at the time of death, the other was a woman.

The reason little can be made of the osteology material is in part that the bodies were cremated, in part the most of the bone material was reinterred after excavation.

Gold and glass

Since the dead were cremated on a pyre along with the grave goods, artefacts have largely been destroyed by the fierce heat.

Examples of what nevertheless could be discerned were: ·     

  • Thin bronze plate, possibly originally mounted on the kind of helmet known from the bout burials in Vendel and Valsgärde.
  • Bone gaming pieces
  • Remains of glass beakers
  • A bone comb
  • A small bone duck, which possibly once festooned the top of a bone needle.
  • Iron rivets, possibly from a casket or chest
  • Whetstones for sharpening knives
  • A object which may have been a makeup pallet
  • Fittings possibly from a drinking horn
  • Three gold objects: a piece of gold plate with filigree (thin strands and granules of gold), a piece of gold plate with animal ornaments and fittings for garnets. All three objects may have festooned a so-called scramasax, a single edge fighting knife.
  • Burnt and unburnt bone from a least three dogs, a hunting falcon, cattle and sheep
  • Bone from bear claws, suggesting that the deceased was laid out on a bear pelt.

 Read on about The west mound