» Home > In the News

Stone Boats

21 April 2012

At www.livescience.com/19747-stonehenge-ales-stenar-astronomical-calendar.html … Scandinavians dragged 59 boulders to a cliff top overlooking the Baltic Sea and arranged the megaliths in the outline of a 220 foot long ship. It is known as Ales Stenor (Ale's Stones) and was assembled in the early medieval period – when the Vikings dominated this part of Sweden, towards the end of the Iron Age. It is specifically categorised as a burial monument. Or that is what was thought until a team of researchers with an eye for other factors decided to take a look at the stone boat. They say it dates back as early as 500BC and was built as an astronomical calendar with the same underlying geometry as Stonehenge, and other megalithic monuments, in the UK. The paper is in the International Journal of Astronomy and Astrophysics and has ruffled a few feathers – notably those of the archaeologists who have ruled the roost over interpretation until now. It is co-authored by Nils-Axel Morner, the famous geologist and sea level specialist (much maligned by CAGW advocates). The argument partly rests on a reputed new C14 date but the team of researchers observed the sun rise and set at specific points around Ales Stenor – at the summer and winter solstices, etc. Morner says Ales Stenor indicates there was widespread contact between Scandinavia and Britain and Ireland long before the Viking age, with possible contacts via France and Spain to the Mediterranean. However, archaeologists are not impressed it seems and are firmly entrenched in the idea it was a grave marker. There are in fact lots of stone boats on the Swedish landscape and most have been dated to the Late Iron Age, AD500-1000. They are basically burial monuments and archaeologists also have C14 dates from Ales Stenor that dates it firmly to around 600AD – a thousand years after Morner and his team. There is no reason why stone boats might not be earlier in date – why would anyone think Scandinavians were only capable of sailing the high seas in the early medieval period? There is also the possibility that the low growth tree ring event around 536-41AD was involved in some unspecifiable way. What occurred at that time and why is activity at megalithic monuments in the UK closely aligned to low growth tree ring events, namely between 2345-2000BC and again, around 1650BC, and somewhat earlier, at around 3000BC? Then again, the Iron Age, around 800-500BC, is another interesting space in time, and no doubt there was a lot of movement of people as there was in the early medieval period when similar climatic conditions existed.

Skip to content