Date:

Giant petroglyph carving found hidden under moss in Sweden

Archaeologists from the Foundation for Documentation of Bohuslän’s Rock Carvings have discovered a giant petroglyph carving in the Swedish province of Bohuslän.

A petroglyph is an image created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, or abrading as a form of rock art.

- Advertisement -

Previous studies suggest that the tradition of carving petroglyphs was evidence for religious practices, however, more recent research proposes that they are not only depictions of cultic rituals but also as source material for cultural history and social hierarchies.

The archaeologists were surveying a rock slab in a farm pasture when they noticed a tiny part of a ship beneath layers of moss.

Image Credit : Foundation for Documentation of Bohuslän’s Rock Carvings

Removing the moss revealed a 15-metre-long petroglyph consisting of 40 figures showing ships, horses, people, and chariots. In total, the researchers have identified thirteen ships, nine horses, seven people, and four chariots.

“These are very large things, including a two-metre ship and a person over one metre in height. The figures are well carved and deep. The motifs are not unique, but the location on an almost vertical outcrop is unusual”, says archaeologist Andreas Toreld.

- Advertisement -

The carving has been dated to around the 7th–8th centuries BC during the peak of petroglyph carving in the Nordic Bronze Age.

Bohuslän has a high concentration of similar petroglyphs, where examples of people, agriculture and stock raising, hunting and fishing, cult and religion (e.g. the Sun cross), carts, ships, and weapons can be found throughout the province.

Due to the linear alignment of the figures, the researchers suggest that they were carved by artisans while stationary on a boat. At the time, the outcrop was part of an island, in which the petroglyph was carved just above the waterline that was darkened by cyanobacteria.

Foundation for Documentation of Bohuslän’s Rock Carvings

Header Image Credit : Foundation for Documentation of Bohuslän’s Rock Carvings

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Excavation uncovers traces of the first bishop’s palace at Merseburg Cathedral Hill

Archaeologists from the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology (LDA) Saxony-Anhalt have uncovered traces of the first bishop’s palace at the southern end of the Merseburg Cathedral Hill in Merseburg, Germany.

BU archaeologists uncover Iron Age victim of human sacrifice

Archaeologists from Bournemouth University have uncovered an Iron Age victim of human sacrifice in Dorset, England.

Archaeologists find ancient papyri with correspondence made by Roman centurions

Archaeologists from the University of Wrocław have uncovered ancient papyri that contains the correspondence of Roman centurions who were stationed in Egypt.

Study indicates that Firth promontory could be an ancient crannog

A study by students from the University of the Highlands and Islands has revealed that a promontory in the Loch of Wasdale in Firth, Orkney, could be the remains of an ancient crannog.

Archaeologists identify the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II

Archaeologists from Sorbonne University have identified the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II, otherwise known as Ramesses the Great.

Archaeologists find missing head of Deva from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom

Archaeologists from Cambodia’s national heritage authority (APSARA) have discovered the long-lost missing head of a Deva statue from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom.

Archaeologists search crash site of WWII B-17 for lost pilot

Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology are excavating the crash site of a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress in an English woodland.

Roman Era tomb found guarded by carved bull heads

Archaeologists excavating at the ancient Tharsa necropolis have uncovered a Roman Era tomb guarded by two carved bull heads.