Backåkra, Kåseberga, Ale stenar, Ystad, Johannamuseet.

The day started with a trip to Dag Hammarskjöld’s holiday home in beautiful Österlen. Dag Hammarskjöld was the UN Secretary General between 1953 and September 1961 when he was killed in a flight accident in Africa, which many believe was sabotage. During his time as Secretary General, he had to deal with several conflicts: the Suez War of 1956, the conflict in Lebanon, the conflict in Laos. During the civil war in Congo, which erupted in 1960, Hammarskjöld took the initiative to send UN forces to be sent there. He also personally tried to mediate between the combatants. For his efforts, he was rewarded posthumously with the Peace Nobel Prize in December 1961.

Hammarskjöld  left his summer home, Backåkra, to the Swedish state with all the equipment he had in his office in the UN. There are paintings of eg. Picasso. There, the UN Security Council held a meeting in May 2018. It was the first time the Security Council met outside New York.

We then went to Ale Stenar, an archaeological mystery. The ancient remains are already mentioned about 1515 in a list of Lund’s founding lands: an ager called dississ Hesten (a field known as Hedsten). The oldest location for the name Ales Stones, Als Stene, is considerably younger, from 1624. In his description of the shipwreck, the parish priest Niels Ipsen in Valleberga then reveals a local tradition that All had built a harbor below Kåsehuvud.

The oldest depiction of the ship setting is also linked to the sea and shipping. In stylized form we find Ales stones marked on Gerhard Buhrman’s coastal map from the year 1684. Apparently the ship’s setting was used as a landmark at this time. The first more detailed drawing was made in 1777 by the antique artist C.G.G. Hilfeling that depicted many ancient remains in Skåne. The first known photograph of Ales stones was taken in 1914.

These and many other older descriptions and depictions are important to the knowledge of Ales stones and the local environment. On two occasions – the years 1917 and 1956 – the ship’s restoration has been restored. Several stones had then fallen, and sand dunes covered large parts of the ship. An aerospace system erected by the military at the site during the Second World War also contributed to the decay. The restoration in 1917 is poorly known, but the interventions that were made were certainly not as great as in the 1956 hard-hand restoration. Then extensive excavation work was done with excavator and bulldozer without close follow-up by archaeologists.

This has contributed to the fact that the knowledge of Ales stones has long been virtually non-existent. There was no actual measurement of the ship’s setting and information on the number of boulders varied. They also did not know which ones were in their original positions. The dating was based solely on comparisons with other, better known ship phrases. There was also a lack of knowledge about the local environment. Did Ales stand alone or were there other monuments on the site? We really don’t know.

Martin Martinez told of his theory that it would have to do with Phoenician sailors, 3000 years ago. He showed similarities between a Phoenician ship and ship depicted on rock carvings in Tanum. For this he has support in the pictures but also in the knowledge that the Phoenicians traded with amber from the area, which was then sold in the Spanish city of Cadiz. 3600 years ago, the lifestyle in Österlen changed dramatically. From paddling in canoes in the Stone Age, southeastern Scandinavians became boatbuilders and long-distance sailors in no time. With amber as a commodity, the Österlen residents took the step right into the Mycenaean and Phoenician worldview of the Bronze Age, and the traces are still left on Österlen. As researchers Bob G Lind, Nils-Axel Mörner also claims.

Kåseberga has been mentioned in the literature during the Middle Ages together with, among others, Skanör, Falsterbo, Malmö, Skåre, Ystad and Simrishamn as regulated fishing locations for fishing and fish trade. At present Kåseberga it is a small fishing village with only 110 inhabitants, of which only a few are fishermen. There are smokehouses and restaurants. During the summer months, about one million tourists from Sweden and around the world visit Kåseberga.

After Kåseberga we visited Ystad. We wandered the town’s medieval streets, among its old houses, and then visited the Church of Mary and the Franciscan Monastery. We could see the oldest school building in Scandinavia, Latin school from the end of the 1400s.

The day ended with a visit to the Johannas Museum. A work of a man, who in 1952 decided to preserve all that he had experienced from his youth. In an old farm he gathered everything, from school desks, whole shops, musical instruments, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, clothes, machines of all different kinds. a spectrum of things that explain the evolution of technology from the mid-19th century to the present. The museum is now run by the founder’s son. He stated that it all started with his father buying an old T-Ford from 1914 in the fall of 1952 and then continuing to collect material throughout his life, he died in 1997. The current owner plans to expand the museum with agricultural implements from the Stone Age to our days. It will be ready by 2021 and will be an important excursion destination for all schools in southern Sweden.

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