GravfältLGBw.jpgGrave Field. Photo: Lars-Gunnar BråvanderGrafiskt element

The oldest landscape

At the end of the Neolithic Period (approx. 2300-1800 BC), the area that now comprises the Royal National City Park began to rise from the sea. The landscape resembled Stockholm’s outer archipelago of today. Most likely people stayed here only temporarily, to hunt and fish. The first traces of human life are some stone axes found at Ulriksdal. In the Bronze Age (1800-600 BC) the strand lay about 15 metres higher than today. The islands had become larger but it was still a rather barren archipelago landscape, offering little possibility for permanent settlement. Some of the hilltop areas of the present park are crowned by cairn-like graves that might be burial sites from that period.

It was not until the Iron Age (400 BC–AD 1050) that the area became permanently settled and agriculture began to be practised. Brunnsviken was cut off from the bay of Saltsjö and became an inland lake. A dozen Iron Age cemeteries have been found within the park. Since cemeteries were usually placed beside settlements we can presume from their distribution that there were a dozen villages or larger farms in the area at that time. In the Viking Period (AD 800–1050) the population increased at an explosive rate in the entire Stockholm area.

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