Stone for the dead
Gryet, from the Old Norse griut, means 'group of stones'. Certainly, Gryet is the largest group of standing stones or menhirs on Bornholm. Today 60-70 of the burial field's menhirs remain. The stones are supported by a foundation extending deep…
Rescued from destruction
The menhirs in Gryet would not have survived were it not for a rescue mission in 1870. Emil Vedel was at that time governor of the Danish county of Bornholm. He was also a tireless investigator of the prehistory of the island. Vedel was alarmed to discover that menhirs in Gryet were being smashed to pieces and carted away as rubble. The governor gave the landowner his personal promise that he would be compensated for preserving these prehistoric stones. In 1875, Gryet was finally made a listed monument. Countless other menhirs on Bornholm have perished. Today, around 250 menhirs remain, but originally there were a thousand or more. Burial mounds and other ancient monuments were also removed if they happened to be in the way. Without pioneers like Emil Vedel there would not be many prehistoric monuments left in the open country.
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