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"Sweden's largest national archive is the Swedish soil"


Did you know that the National Heritage Board has a map service, Forestry, where you can see all known registered ancient monuments and other cultural and historical remains in Sweden?

"Sweden's largest national archive is the Swedish earth" wrote Vilhelm Moberg in the first part of "My Swedish History", and everywhere in Sweden you can find traces of the country's many indigenous peoples - ancestors of the various small peoples that today are called the Swedish people, and ancestors of the Sami peoples.

Forestry research shows that around my village several settlements have been identified from the Stone Age, that is at least 4,000 years old. Numerous arrowheads, axes and pickaxes have been found in stone (much made of slate but also sandstone and various fine-grained rocks).

Even on my own farm there have been finds; a slate dagger found by a former owner while working in the barley field.

I moved to my little farm a couple of years ago, but I didn't know then that my family, in direct descent on my father's side, has lived in this very valley for at least 400 years. I don't think I'll get any further back than that with genealogy. But the earth has a lot to tell me about the people who have lived here. Who knows, maybe it was one of my ancestors who once grabbed that shale dagger? You are allowed to fantasise.

What does the land where you live tell you?

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