Jordbro Grave Field
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Jordbro Grave Field (Jordbrogravfältet) is thought to be the largest grave field in the Nordic Countries from the Iron Age and is located in Haninge kommun in the southern part of Stockholm County, Sweden. It is situated south of the small town of Jordbro, roughly one kilometer from Jordbro train station, or approximately one and a half kilometers north of Västerhaninge municipality and station. Southeast of the grave field is a small wildlife preserve called Gullringskärret.
The grave field consists of 660 graves which are historical monuments from 500 BC to 500 AC. Among these are one tumulus, a pair of grave cairns, about 300 stone circles in different shapes, two stone ships, 14 stone circles. In Sweden, such circles are called Domarringar (judge circles), Domkretsar (judge circles) or Domarsäten (judge seats), which are different from the stone circles of the Bronze Age and Britain.
The grave field, situated on relatively high ground on the southern part of Jordbromalm's esker, was already populated during the early stone age when the area was right next to the beach.
The Grave Field is roughly 500 meters long and about 300 meters wide. Nynäsbanan cuts through the field and splits into two parts. These parts are connected with a walking tunnel under the railroad.
When Nynäsbanan Railroad was expanded to double tracks from 1993-1994, some additional excavations were done at the grave field. On the western side of the railroad, archaeologists excavated the outer layer of humus and thus made several stone circles visible. To the east of the railroad, stone circles are not as visible - many of them only hinted at through observation of the raised parts of the ground however, there are more erected menhirs, rectangular stone circles and grave cairns here in the eastern area of the grave field. A smaller excavation was also done in a sandy part of the embankment by the railroad and the northern area of the grave field east of the track. There they found traces of a small hut from the stone age.
Not much is known about the people buried in this grave field, or where they were came from. The most likely theory is that this was a commonly shared grave field for the populations living in Öster- and Västerhaninge. Some have speculated that people might have come by boat to bury their dead.
To the southwest of the grave field is another large contemporary burial ground, known as Åby grave field (Åbygravfältet).
In Modern TimesEdit
Today the field is kept open and cared for by the local government. The government ensures that the local forest and vegetation is kept maintained. A footpath for walking (or bicycling) has been maintained, and tables and benches have been placed where locals and tourists alike can rest and have a picnic.