Rock Carving Masterpiece? Huge ‘Baroque’-Like Petroglyph Unearthed in Sweden

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petroglyph find, rock carvings, archeologic find, ancient history, ancient scandinavia

petroglyph find, rock carvings, archeologic find, ancient history, ancient scandinavia

The massive 15-meter-long rock carvings were made on a nearly vertical slab on an island, visible from far and wide, yet ended up in the ground, covered in moss.

A colossal rock carving discovery, seen as the biggest in the 21st century, has been unearthed in Bohuslan County, southern Sweden.

The collection of petroglyphs was found in the Kville parish and stretches across 15 meters. It contains some 40 figures, including 13 ships, nine horses, seven people and four chariots.

Archaeologist Andreas Toreld described the figures, which include a two-meter-long ship and a man over one-meter tall, as large and well-made. While the motif is not unique, its placement is very rare.

These carvings were covered in moss when they were found. They were located on a farm in a pasture, and the archaeologists from the Foundation for Documentation of Bohuslan County Petroglyphs noticed that a small part of a ship was sticking out from under the moss. They removed the moss and revealed the carvings in all their glory.

The carving’s date was set at 700–800 BC, with its accuracy being buttressed by an almost vertical position of the slab. To achieve their goal, the artists must have been in boats.

“It is 12 meters above today’s sea level. Therefore, it cannot be older than the 8th century BC, because then it would have been underwater. But the unusual thing is that we also have a limit ahead. If it was earlier than the eighth century, the carvers would have needed a ladder or platform, and it seems unreasonable that they would have carved in a straight line three meters from the ground,” Andreas Toreld disclosed in a statement.

At the time when the carving was made, the slab was located on an island. It must have been visible from far and wide. It was at the peak of the petroglyph period, when both the most intricate and the most beautiful carvings were created.

“The carving continued at least until around the birth of Christ, but the ships became simpler. During the Younger Bronze Age, from which this one comes, the style was closest to Baroque. Everything was bloated and exaggerated, but perhaps not so realistic,” Andreas Toreld said.

The carvings are only slightly smaller than the world-famous 20-meter-long Vitlycke Cave located at the world heritage site in Tanum.

Petroglyphs have been found in all parts of the globe except Antarctica, yet the highest concentrations appear to be in Africa, Scandinavia, Karelia and Siberia. Their purpose remains questioned, depending on their location, age, and subject matter.





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