Disa's Ting is a rectangular setting of sixteen stones, which were erected on a small earthen bank delineating an area of thirty-six metres long by sixteen metres wide. Where elsewhere the stone setting could be described as a cromlech, in Scandinavia these types of monument are know as thing-vollr, a law centre or 'field where an assembly meets'.
The sixteen stones range in height from 7' tall, in the south-east of the rectangle, to around 1' high, the largest stones standing along the southern quadrant closest to the sea. There does not appear to be any graduation in the height of the stones.
Excavations in 1920 discovered a cobblestone framework was laid down in order to form the foundation for the earthen bank, and amongst this material were found scattered burnt human bones. These were interpreted as being the remains of an Iron Age grave that would have dated from around 500 BCE to 400CE, later carbon dating has put this towards the earlier end of that scale. The embankment on which the stones stand has now denuded over time, but is still visible, and provides an opening to the enclosure from the west.
Although the archaeological evidence recovered points toward the Iron Age, and therefore long after the rest of European megalithic culture, the surrounding area is rich in earlier Bronze Age remains, including a barrow field (graberfeld) only a few hundred metres to the west, indicating that the site may have had an earlier date of construction and had been adapted for later use, as has been seen at other megalithic sites present in areas of Viking culture.
I've had an evening of paddling on the beach only feet away from Disa's Ting, and even at 8.30pm it is still warm, so I waded into the Baltic at the nice little beach at Svarte, only three miles away from the house where we were staying. Then I walked barefoot to the stones as evening fell, sitting in the middle of the thing-vollr and just relaxing in the atmosphere.
Although so close to the edge of the village, with houses just a stones throw away, it doesn't feel overlooked or unwelcome here. In fact the whole history of the site as a law centre makes it feel an integral and organic part of the village, rather than humanity encroaching on the wildness of the places where megalithic sites usually stand.
It's also interesting that this is a very young site in megalithic terms, only 2,500 years old, although I get the feeling that the site was used by an earlier culture and adopted later by the Vikings as a powerful place to make pronouncements. As I sit in the middle of the stones, the spiky grass jabbing at my feet, I also ponder on who the enigmatic maiden Disa was. Was she a volva or seidr? It's nice that the place is still associated with her name.
Now as the sun sets the light over the stones and the view out to sea is exquisite, before
I sat down I hugged one of the stones and was suffused with warmth, although this was a physical rather than spiritual effect, as a result of the days heat radiating from the stone, although it still feels lovely!
It's magical to be here at sunset, with the light low over the stones, and the normally busy coast road now quiet. This was the first megalithic site we visited in Sweden, and it feels special, a good introduction to the wonders of Skane!