Tuesday, 22 September 2015


Pre-Christian, pre-Viking and very well connected with the rest of Europe during the Bronze Age, the people creating the Rock Art in Tanum have become world famous.

They have left pictures of 30 000 boats, thousands of sun wheels, fighters, animals and a few women that remain today. There has probably been many more but time, water and erosion have erased them.

Rock art are not carvings, they are ground or hacked into a southern or eastern facing flat rock face of the Scandinavian countries. They are made from around 1500 BCE until the beginning for the first century. The artists and their uses are still quite unknown. The pictures are probably only symbols, not depictions. Most symbols are however unchanged during the entire time-period. Imagine that - an unchanged religion during a thousand years! Many regions around Europe have had similar or even identical symbols, and the same technique has been used around the world (regardless if there are rocks to hack the into or not). Not all have been saved or has survived.

To meet a picture that is three thousand years old, in its original location, that is unchanged and unaltered in surroundings that are still wild, wet and slightly cold is fascinating. I felt as if I had post cards from an old friend. "Look at this! This is what I like! This is what I admire and what makes my world special."
The man is more spiritual than I am and he had a different experience.

The gods are pre-Viking and possibly influenced by the stories from where the metals of the bronze was made: copper and tin. The oldest religions in the world are as diverse as today but have several similar godlike figures with the properties of strength, growth and survival.

We pitched our tent and stayed the night. Seeing the rock art in the sun set or with the dew over them was magic. Comparable to seeing a piece of art in the studio of the artist. We cooked out porridge and slept well in our sleeping bags (adding socks and hats for the night).
                                           Photo credit: Vitlycke museum
(yes, there are only men on this picture. The women were pictured with long pony-tales.)

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