Kuninkaanhauta – The King’s Grave

Kuninkaanhauta, King’s Grave, is the largest bronze-age barrow in Finland and likewise amongst the most eminent in the Nordic countries. The vast construction built merely of rocks is 37m long, 30m wide, and around 4m high. Its age is somewhat disputable in the light of new study methods: priorly it was assumed that barrows this large belong to the early Bronze Age only (c. 3500 years back), but now it has been proven that such monuments were also built when the tides turned towards the early Iron Age (c. 500 BC). A prehistoric dwelling site including remains of firepits and adobes with circular stone bases was discovered right beside the barrow in the excavations of 1987-88. This was specifically dated back to the later Bronze Age, which makes one wonder about the true nature of Kuninkaanhauta.

The Panelianlahti bay area, where also Kuninkaanhauta lies, is exceptional for its number of massive bronze-age barrows. A more or less recent calculation on the very area produced a result of 120 tumuli, out of which 64 had a diameter of 10m or more. It is also interesting to note that the Satakunta province has sported several other barrows quite as large as Kuninkaanhauta, but they have become destroyed by a way or another during the centuries. Whoever found their last resting place inside Kuninkaanhauta undoubtedly belonged to an aristocratic lineage.