Traces of people in the landscape

After the animals and the plants, people began coming to Fjärås Bräcka. Hunters and fishermen created temporary settlements around Lake Lygnern and in time began to cultivate the land.

The passage over the Bräckan ridge has been used since the Stone Age. At the beginning of the 20th century, people would travel by train from Gothenburg to the station here at the ridge, climb the long stairway all the way up to the crest and then down the other side to Lake Lygnern to take the boat ISA af Lygnern. Thanks to a bunch of enthusiasts, you can still make that boat trip today.

This part of the exhibition is divided into different rooms, which all show the impact on the landscape made by people. You will see this very clearly if you step inside the cottage we have reconstructed. Here you can look at black and white photographs from long ago as well as colour photographs that show the changing seasons. If you sit down in the armchair you can listen to local tales and legends. (This can be an interesting Swedish lesson too … one of Sweden’s best loved actresses, Ulla Skoog is the narrator.) One legend is about how a giant once threw a big stone from the ridge right across Lake Lygnern and almost hit the church in Sätila. Another legend is about how the good King Frode was gored to death by a cow … King Frode has given his name to the big boulder in the Li grave field, the largest Viking grave field in Region Halland. You can see this grave field in one of the cottage windows. If you keep listening, you can hear about Fornander the bellringer who had such a strong voice that he was heard all over Lake Lygnern when he stood here on the ridge singing, or about Johanna Maria Andersson from Måå Frjärås who emigrated to America and whose granddaughter married the American President Dwight Eisenhower.

Above the bookcase you can also see antlers from the three kinds of deer found in this area: fallow deer, roe deer and red deer. And in “Death’s Waiting Room" in the corner of the room, you can see the antlers from an elk. Below, in the window, you can see the cholera graveyard that reminds us of a dark time in the middle of the 19th century when cholera took the lives of 48 people here in Fjärås.

Beyond “Death’s Waiting Room”, outside the cottage, are the outlying fields, the fields that have long been used as pasture. This is also where you will find the area’s many grave fields. The countryside around Fjärås Bräcka is exceptionally rich in ancient remains. There are graves here from the stone age, the bronze age, the iron age, the middle ages and from modern times as well. The graves tell us about the lives lived here in different times, but also about a strong belief in a life after death. This is what we describe in the comic strips, under the theme “Traces of death”, on the last wall. Below the wall you can see some of what has been found in the graves during archaeological excavations.

On the other side of the room, still outside the cottage, are the infields, the area that has been cultivated since antiquity. Cultivation has also had an impact on the landscape, as you can see in the big picture if you look closely. Can you see the terraces dating back to the middle ages? If we dig deeper into the soil we can find more remains from even the iron, bronze and stone ages. The theme for the infields is “Signs of life” and here you can see both archaeological finds and how the food we eat has developed from the stone age up to this day. And funnily enough, today we have rediscovered stone age foodstuffs like naked grains and roots…