4 February, 2019

The history of Sweden: Prehistory

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them”, said James Baldwin once. We couldn’t agree more. That’s why we present the first of the posts about the history of Sweden. To understand Sweden better, we need to go to its roots; that’s why, naturally, we’ll start with prehistory.

Did you know that 11,000 years BC Sweden still lied under the ice cap? But a few thousand years later the melting waters flowed out by Svea River through today’s Västmanland and Närke into the Baltic Sea (back then a freshwater lake) and had started to make Scandinavia alive.

Thousands of years passed until the year 8000 BC. That is the date when the first hunters and fishers moved outside Malmö. During the last part of the Stone Age, people living there kept domestic animals and grazing cattle. By then, apparently, the country had been conquered by some foreigners, who created a class society.

1800-500 BC is the time of the Bronze Age. There is evidence of trade contacts between Scandinavia and the British Isles, bronze usage and arts and crafts development. The most remarkable traces of these times are the burial sites, like the Ales Stones that consists of 59 stones withf 67 meters in lenght. If you want to see them, you can find some information at

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania ale stones © Anders Hjemdahl

During the Iron Age Scandinavia was described for the first time in history in Tacitus’ De Germania and Procopius’ and Jordanes’ writings. Thanks to those sources we know, that Sweden back then was a great land with many tribes, each under its own chieftain or king.

That was the first post about Swedish history. If you want to learn more, check our blog regularly!

Source: Jörgen Weibull, Swedish History in Outline, 1997

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Ada Juraś
My name is Ada and I come from Poland where I study Linguistics for business. I am passionate about Swedish art, design, politics and culture. I've been living in Östermalm in Stockholm since 2017.

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