Rock carvings at Aspeberget

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At the small village of Tanum you find several ancient rock carvings which you can go and have a look at. One place to go is next to the museum Vitlycke museum which has some exhibition of ancient artefacts and some recreated dwellings from the Bronze Age.

Ships at the rock carvings

The dwellings at the museum are from different periods of the Bronze Age – and the climate changed a lot during this period. During the early part of the Bronze Age the climate in Sweden and the rest of Scandinavia was pretty mild with nice warm and wet summers and not a terrible cold winter. This climate changed to the later part of the Bronze Age when the temperature dropped to significant lower levels and the winter became harsh.

The different climate during the Bronze Age meant the dwellings changed – in the early period there was limited need for stables for the animals since they could spend most of the time outside. This changed in the later part of the Bronze Age when the dwellings started to have a section for the animals to shelter inside. This was done partly for the animals but the humans also benefited from this close contact. The larger animals radiated quite a bit of heat so they helped increase the indoor temperature during the cold winter.

Across the road from the museum you find some of the ancient rock carvings in the area. The location is called Aspeberget and there are several rocks with the ancient carvings.

The carvings in the rock are pretty traditional of carvings from Scandinavia from this period. There are many carvings of old boats which are commonly found at the ancient carvings. You also see scenes of hunting where the hunter gathers go out hunting the different wildlife of the area. You can also see a carving of a sun disc which indicates the locals had a religion which had the worship of the sun as a central part – this is common in Scandinavia and actually far down in Europe as well during this period.

Men who got a sword at a later date

An interesting carving is a man who is holding a spear in his hand. This picture is actually not the original picture – in the original there was only a picture of humans. A few centuries later somebody added a spear to the man for unknown reasons – possible to make the man seem more intimidating.


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