Greby Ancient Burial ground, Grebbestad
The Greby Burial Ground is the largest in Bohuslän. There are more than 180 visible graves, but the true number is probably much higher.
The Greby Burial Ground is the largest in Bohuslän. There are more than 180 visible graves, but the true number is probably much higher. Legend has it that Scots warriors are buried in the mounds. Eleven of the graves were excavated in 1873 by Oscar Montelius, a well known archeology and prominent figure in Swedish archeology. The graves contained no weapons, only personal artifacts. The dead had been cremated, and the burnt bones put into clay pots. Dating of the excavated graves put them from the Iron Age, from 400-500 A.D.
At the time when the graves were established, there was a shallow bay just to the west, a bay that was an extension of Sannäs Fjord with connections to the open sea at Havstensund and at Edsvik. Using Edsvik as the entry point, it was possible to avoid the dangerous waters at Tjurpannan. The entry at Edsvik was guarded by a fortress that still exists today.
The large number of graves here at Greby and at Gissleröd, nearby are indication that this area was of special significance in the centuries after the birth of Christ. The finds from the excavations in 1873 point to connections with Norway, England and Germany. Greby was posibly a trading place associated with a large farm where goods and products from this part of northern Bohuslän were bartered for goods from other areas.
We do not know when or how it lost its significance. Possibly it was due to the bay silting up and becoming to shallow to sail in, or that the site was attacked and plundered. In which case there could be some truth in the legend about the Scots.
From E6: Road 163 towards Grebbestad. Turn left at signpost just before Grebbestad village.