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.

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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

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Mike Mannaart (13 months ago)
A number of very interesting sites, but be aware those are spread throughout the region. You might have to look well to find all sites.
Charlita Dalebjörk (14 months ago)
Amazing pictures With a nice touch of history
Melanie Olsson (16 months ago)
Amazing place! Great for a day excursion. Shout out to the amazing guide Karin that gave a super interesting presentation ?
Mikael Andersén (16 months ago)
Tanum is the ultimate introduction the Scandinavian petroglyphs! It pays to be thorough, at least if you enjoy your history, because all the major sights included are worth a look!
Rafael Bruzamolin (20 months ago)
Amazing how 3000+ years of history is still there!
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