Ekestad (SE)

Ekestad is just outside Kristianstad in Northeast Skåne. The area is rich with archaeological sites: in the water kingdom around the river Helge there used to be many Viking villages. In the year 1026, this was the area of the Three King’s Battle, when the Danish King Knud fought the Swedish Anund Jakob and the Norwegian King Olav the Saint.

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Here at Ekestad, in a meadow at the shore of Lake Råbelöv (Råbelövsjön) in Autumn 1993, an Iron Age house was built, and it is still there. It was started by an association called Minerva working with experimental archaeology and ancient technology. They conducted outreach activities primarily for schools, where they presented an interesting and exciting way of life to ancient Skåne history. In the workshops, you could find among others the following techniques: forging, leather working, making glass beads, making jewelry, textile weaving, felting, food, working with wood, building and design et cetera.

The house is a reconstruction of a so called “stolphus” with wattle and daub walls and a roof of reeds and heather. The settlement also includes a small smithy, a sacrificial grove and a Viking farm. The latter is an archaeological experiment where ancient history is linked with the present day. By means of practical work with ancient techniques and craftsmanship, a deeper knowledge and understanding of the conditions the ancestors lived in is provided.

Step over the threshold of the longhouse, enjoy the tranquility and the smell of food and fire. Stroll through the farm's annexes, enjoy the beautiful scenery and feel the history better. Here you will find plants we know from the Viking times as wheat, oats, lentils, turnips, etc. Grey peas are planted with seeds donated by the Nordic gene bank. Try some crafting, the forge, or make tiny clay pots. Before you go home you can take the opportunity to make that visit to our sacrificial grove.

In the years 1998-1999 a Viking ship was built by C4arbetsmarknad and secondary school students of the Sånna School, Kristianstad municipality. The boat was named Unn (measures 11 x 3 metres) and is built of fresh oak as Viking boat building traditions state. The axe was the tool most used, the hand and eye the main measuring instruments. Boat builder Jan Mellring helped and assisted during the work.

Unn is like all Viking ships flat-bottomed and has a soft hull making her smooth in the lake. She is clinker-built with 7 iron riveted planks. The frames are nailed with plugs. To boat has five pairs of oars and a hand-sewn square sail of linen. Schoolchildren of all ages have the opportunity to experience what it would be to travel Viking style. By rowing or sailing Unn the idea is to raise ideas, knowledge and understanding of a part of Viking life; a very special experience!


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