Saturday, October 25, 2014

Three great howes, each rising some fifty-eight feet above the earthen floor / are seen from far across the well-tilled fenceless flats

2014.10.25-IMG_2265
Three great howes, each rising some fifty-eight feet above the earthen floor and spreading more than two hundred feet upon it, are seen from far across the well-tilled fenceless flats, over which the wind blows clouds of dust. Many smaller mounds form a rude crescent stretching across the open plain with the great hills in the centre. They are doubtless the last resting-places of many kings about whose "howing" we read in the sagas. Though of old the capital of all the land, Upsala is but a tiny village now, so unimportant that it is known as Gamla (old) Upsala, for the neighbouring city of Ostra-aros (East mouth), whose cathedral spires are the most prominent features of the landscape, has usurped the proper name. 
The Kungshogar or Hills of Kings, as the three great tumuli have immemorially been called, are distinguished as those of Odin, Thor and Frey, but these detail names date from much more recent years. They were opened, Odin's in 1846, and Thor's in 1874. They proved to be of the first part of the Later Iron Age, that is the period just before Viking days. 
Capitals of the northlands, tales of ten cities (1914) by Ian C. Hannah, p.180

The picture above of of the three mounds, Thor (far left), Frey (middle), and Odin (right). In the photo below, you can see the spire of "new" Uppsala.


2014.10.25-IMG_2241

No comments: