Rock Carvings in Tanum

Tanum, Sweden

One of the largest rocks of Nordic Bronze Age petroglyphs in Scandinavia is located in Tanumshede locality, Tanum Municipality. In total there are thousands of images called the Tanum petroglyphs, on about 600 panels within the World Heritage Area. These are concentrated in distinct areas along a 25 km stretch, which was the coastline of a fjord during the Bronze Age, and covers an area of about 51 hectares. Tanumshede rock carvings have been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Scandinavian Bronze Age and Iron Age people were sophisticated craftsmen and very competent travelers by water. (Dates for ages vary with the region; in Scandinavia, the Bronze Age is roughly 1800 to 500 BCE) Many of the glyphs depict boats of which some seem to be of the Hjortspring boat type carrying around a dozen passengers. Wagons or carts are also depicted.

Other glyphs depict humans with a bow, spear or axe, and others depict hunting scenes. In all cases the pictures show people performing rituals. There is a human at a plough drawn by two oxen, holding what might be a branch or an ox-goading crop made of a number of strips of hide.

The rock carvings are endangered by erosion due to pollution. To the dismay of some archaeologists, some have been painted red to make them more visible for tourists.

References:

Comments

Your name

Website (optional)



Address

Vitlycke 2, Tanum, Sweden
See all sites in Tanum

Details

Founded: 1800-500 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Sweden
Historical period: Neolithic Age (Sweden)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kristýna Koželská Víchová (2 months ago)
Nice free museum and walk in the forest between locations of carvings and cairns
Charles Lau (2 months ago)
This fascinating bronze age rock carvings are listed as an UNESCO world heritage site. The carvings are admission free and open 24 hours. There are information panels around the carvings, and the excellent Vitlycke Museum (free admission) has explanations on the history and meanings behind the carvings. (In the museum you can pick up a map showing the locations of other rock carvings in the region.) Further up the hill, there is a bronze age burial mound. Follow the signs, and watch out for uneven ground.
Marc de Ruyter (2 months ago)
Fantastic, very old rock carvings.
Marcello Bozzolasco (4 months ago)
Very interesting experience and excellent local guide who presented carvings with competence
Alpa Pandya (5 months ago)
Beautiful rock carvings. I strongly recommend joining one of the free guided presentations offered by the museum. Clean bathrooms. Nice cafe.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lübeck Cathedral

Lübeck Cathedral is a large brick-built Lutheran cathedral in Lübeck, Germany and part of the Lübeck UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 1173 Henry the Lion founded the cathedral to serve the Diocese of Lübeck, after the transfer in 1160 of the bishop's seat from Oldenburg in Holstein under bishop Gerold. The then Romanesque cathedral was completed around 1230, but between 1266 and 1335 it was converted into a Gothic-style building with side-aisles raised to the same height as the main aisle.

On the night of Palm Sunday (28–29 March) 1942 a Royal Air Force bombing raid destroyed a fifth of the town centre. Several bombs fell in the area around the church, causing the eastern vault of the quire to collapse and destroying the altar which dated from 1696. A fire from the neighbouring cathedral museum spread to the truss of the cathedral, and around noon on Palm Sunday the towers collapsed. An Arp Schnitger organ was lost in the flames. Nevertheless, a relatively large portion of the internal fittings was saved, including the cross and almost all of the medieval polyptychs. In 1946 a further collapse, of the gable of the north transept, destroyed the vestibule almost completely.

Reconstruction of the cathedral took several decades, as greater priority was given to the rebuilding of the Marienkirche. Work was completed only in 1982.

The cathedral is unique in that at 105 m, it is shorter than the tallest church in the city. This is the consequence of a power struggle between the church and the guilds.

The 17 m crucifix is the work of the Lübeck artist Bernt Notke. It was commissioned by the bishop of Lübeck, Albert II. Krummendiek, and erected in 1477. The carvings which decorate the rood screen are also by Notke.

Since the war, the famous altar of Hans Memling has been in the medieval collection of the St. Annen Museum, but notable polyptychs remain in the cathedral.

In the funeral chapels of the southern aisle are Baroque-era memorials by the Flemish sculptor Thomas Quellinus.