Megaliths, Landscapes and Identities: the case of Falbygden, Sweden

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Karl-Göran Sjögren


Today, about 525 dolmens and passage graves are known in Sweden. These tombs were built in a short and intense period, c. 3300- 3000 BC, in the cultural setting of the Funnel Beaker (TRB) culture. The tombs occur in two distinct types of landscape. In Scania, Halland and Bohuslän, they are found close to the coast, in a strongly marine environment.

The second and larger group of tombs is found in the inland area of Falbygden in Västergötland. Here, a remarkable concentration of at least 255 tombs coincides with one of the very few places in the region where bedrock consists of limestone and slate instead of Precambrian rocks.

Spatial patterns are discernible in Falbygden but not very clearly
in Bohuslän. In Falbygden, the tombs are closely spaced, occur in clusters or groups of 5–15 tombs, and tend towards regular spacing within the groups. Also, the largest tombs tend to occur in the centre of the area, for instance in Karleby, where several of the largest tombs are found. I will discuss the spatial patterns in the Falbygden landscape at different spatial levels, and whether the spatial patterns are also discernible in other variables, such as tomb or pottery typology. I will also touch upon the relations between Falbygden and surrounding non-megalithic regions as visible in ongoing isotope studies.

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How to Cite
Sjögren 2010: K.-G. Sjögren, Megaliths, Landscapes and Identities: the case of Falbygden, Sweden. JNA 12, 2, 2010. DOI: