Birka(redirected from Björkö)
a city on Björkö Island, in the southeastern part of Lake Mälaren in Sweden. Founded circa 800; destroyed by fire circa 975. Birka consisted of a castle on a steep cliff and of the city proper. Extensive graveyards are located outside the ramparts that surround the town. About 1,200 grave sites, mainly under burial mounds, were investigated by the Swedish archaeologist J. Stolpe from 1871 to 1895. Along with the graves of ordinary citizens, there are graves in wooden frames made of notched logs that contain female slaves, horses, armament, precious ornaments, and utensils. The finds show that the population of Birka conducted trade with neighboring countries.