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Norway. Archaeological evidence indicates that groups of early man lived and farmed in southern Sweden throughout the Neolithic Stone Age and Bronze Age.

Over time, widely scattered tribes formed; chiefdoms then developed - communities of people led by an all powerful chief. Small kingdoms followed including the Suiones and Geats, and in the far north, the Sami people (or Laplanders) inhabited vast areas of land.

Sweden's Viking Age began in the late 800's AD, and unlike the Danish and Norwegian Vikings, the Swedes traveled south and east. They raided Finland and other Baltic Sea lands. They trekked across much of western Russia, and these rugged adventurers navigated rivers all the way to Constantinople, better known today as Istanbul, Finland and beyond.

Regional squabbles were silenced by the 1350's as the Black Plague, the planet's most devastating pandemic, killed millions across Europe and much of Sweden's population, especially in the south.

At the very end of the 14th century, Queen Margaret I of Europe, and the country reached out to establish colonies in Africa and the Americas. Kings with great armies and the resulting wars came and went, and at the dawn of the 19th century, Sweden did not have enough resources to maintain its territories outside Scandinavia, and most of them were lost.

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This page was last updated on April 7, 2017.