About Me

My photo
Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Fences - Around Viking Burial Mounds

Thought I may as well finish off the week in southern Sweden with a Friday Fence around some Viking burial mounds. Earlier in the week it was the red barns and gorgeous farmland of the area as our tour bus headed south to cross over into Denmark. The night before we had stayed at Toftaholm Manor, an historic lakeside inn. Here it is in the evening light (painted a softy mustard yellow--second most popular color to the Falu red). The manor grounds had its own burial grounds which I'll tell you about in a minute.
When we left Toftaholm manor the next morning it was raining so I was too lazy to get off the tour bus and traipse across the fields but managed to get a few shots of the burial mounds through the bus window.   Notice the steps for climbing over the fence--instead of a gate. In the 5th/6th century A.D., fire and water played important roles in Viking death ceremonies. For the royalty, a ship may be fully equipped with the dead and all they would need to make it to Valhalla and then set adrift on the sea. In another method of burial, pits were dug in the ground and a funeral pyre lit. After the fire ceremony, the site was covered with stones and earth to make these burial mounds. You see them dotting the Swedish farm landscape. Some mounds are marked with huge boulders as in these photos:
Now moving ahead to about 1000 A.D., here's an example of a rune stone, one of the oldest Christian monuments. This stone was on the grounds of Toftaholm Manor and the inscription said something like "in memory of brother Fare, God rest his soul. . ." Fare, or Farelander, was a common Scandinavian male name and meant traveler or one who journeys to England:
For more Friday Fences, check out the growing list of participants at Life According to Jan and Jer.

12 comments:

Linda said...

I always enjoy exploring the ancient grounds - burial or otherwise. Very interesting history lesson today!

Beth said...

wow, what a great place to visit. & a fun learning experience. (:

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

How thoughtful of the fence builders to leave a way for others to get through the fence!

Look Hard to See the Fence!

Jan n Jer said...

Very interesting Faye...You would be a great tour guide! Love the steps to get over the fence.

TexWisGirl said...

neat! i like the stiles, too.

NatureFootstep said...

lol. You visited Skåne. :) I have not been there much but it is a beautiful landscape. I was there last october for 5 days birding.

The steps to cross the fence is common all over Sweden. We use it as we are allowed to pass over all land except for private property like gardens and farmland. Earlier there was always a problem when people forgot to close gates and cattle got lose. That is no problem now.
Glad you liked my country. :)

Dianne said...

the fence blends in so organically
I love all the warm lights beaming out from the manor
beautiful scenes

Carletta said...

Lovely evening shot of the manor!
When you began talking about burial grounds I immediately thought of the Indian Burial Mounds so I was expecting something much larger. When I scrolled down I was surprised at the size.
Interesting post Faye!

heyBJK said...

Beautiful country! I love the rune stones! Wonderful shots, Faye!

George said...

It must have been fascinating to visit such a beautiful area filled with so much history. This is a wonderful Friday Fences post.

Marie said...

Oh, wow! I LOVE this post! So much interesting history! How I would love to go there someday!

Doing some summer school with the grandson on our own. We started studying Ancient Egypt, because I know he's really interested and also I had a great book I could use. I asked him what country he would like to study next. He said (remarkably!) Iceland! So, our next course of study will be Scandinavia, Iceland and Greenland. It ought to be fun! I have a good head's-up from your post on some avenues to pursue!

Fun said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.