43. Mattock Eva



Long ago there was famine in this area of the country. People were hungry and starving. There was talk of killing off the old people, who could no longer work. One third of the population would be killed.

In Finnveden, as this part of Sweden was called, lived a queen named Eva. She was considered very wise. She said it was better to let the people live and decreed that they all should be given their own mattocks to clear new ground, cultivate the land and grow food. And so they did. Since then, the queen has been known as Mattock Eva.

This is a popular explanation as to why you can find scattered in the forests all around this area a great deal of small cairns, known as mattock-hills. These cairns have in fact been built up until the 20th century to get more land to cultivate. A large number of cairns are from the Late Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age and can be up to 3,800 years old.

During the Late Iron Age, 400–1000 AD, more people settled down along the river Lagan and the agriculture became more important. A sign that Lagadalen in Berga parish and Finnveden was an important place during this time, is that King Magnus Ladulås in a letter of privilege in year 1279, gave a bishop the right to build a town here.

Listen to the Legend

Find your way to the Legendary place

N 56°55’05.3, E 013°58’15.9