We've crossed deserts to see ruins, only to find a few stones -- but this site is actually impressive. They've reconstructed a large selection of the massive wall that encircled this ring-fort, along with Iron Age houses within the walls, to give you a sense of how a fortified village looked in its heyday. Built inside of a ring-shaped enclosure for defensive purposes, the site is the only rebuilt prehistoric fort in Scandinavia. It's on the island's extreme southern tip, 35km (22 miles) south of Mörbylånga, rising starkly from a treeless landscape of steppelike tundra.

Eketorp is one of 15 known prehistoric forts on the island. Excavations have shown three phases of settlement here from A.D. 300 to 1300. You can see dwellings, cattle byres, and storehouses reconstructed using ancient crafts and materials, as well as species of livestock. Objects found in the excavations include simple tools, skillfully crafted jewelry, and weapons. The best of these finds are exhibited in a museum inside the fort wall, but don't expect to be overwhelmed. After all, these were primitive times. When you arrive on the island, ask about the "reenactment days," when men and women dress up in medieval garb and go through the motions of daily life as it was back then.