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The Wonders of the Waterfront
These days, a walk along the waterfront of Lake Mälaren is perfectly possible. But when Sigtuna was founded some 1,000 years ago, the current shoreline was well under water – the land uplift since then has been counted to five meters. At the time of the founding of Sigtuna, Lake Mälaren reminded more of the Baltic Sea than a proper lake.
For Sigtuna, water routes have always proved important. 1,000 years ago, the water way was the most convenient for long distance travelling. Due to insufficient roads, journeying at land proved hard. Sigtuna’s founder, King Erik Segersäll, sought a place from which to wield power. It had to be situated at the shores of Lake Mälaren – yet at a good distance from the heathen city of Uppsala.
The king distributed land to his grandees. Being a landowner in the first city of the emerging kingdom was of great honour. Ships arrived to Sigtuna, from nearby and abroad, carrying grandees and seeking a place in a royal town.
During the excavations of the 1900s, a treasure of beautiful pearls, made of gold and glass, was found at the shoreline. The treasure is currently on display at Sigtuna Museum.
Is the treasure a sacrifice made after a long journey at sea?