Ekehagen Prehistoric Village
By Peter Olausson
In Ã sarp near FalkÃ¶ping, in a landscape littered with passage tombs, you’ll find Ekehagen. Founded in 1983, the centre has a number of houses built to show what Prehistoric life was like in Scandinavia, from huts of the Mesolithic to a farm of the Middle Iron Age (no Vikings).
Note: This is not a museum. Walking around on one’s own and studying the buildings etc. might work for people who already know what it’s about, but would be comparably pointless for the rest of us; the main point is hands-on experience. You can book guides with which you participate in flint knapping, leather working, cooking, archery, trapping (they have a nice path with a couple of period game traps) and so on. Or you can arrive during one of the theme weeks they arrange every year. (Or book stays for several days, including sleep-overs in a period of choice.) There is also a restaurant and a modest shop.
There is plenty of space here: some of the “attractions” are several hundred meters apart. Bring good shoes, and don’t forget your mobile phone! In my opinion, this improves the atmosphere and general experience no end compared to what a crowded “Stone Age Disneyland” would have been like. The “home base” assigned to our group, a Mesolithic house, wasn’t surrounded by noisy school classes — they were elsewhere — but by tranquil forest (with period tree species, I was told).
As for the scientific correctness regarding the many details, I really can’t tell (that is, if there are any flaws, I couldn’t spot them). But the staff sure loves to discuss the finer points of recreating history.