A Masterpiece

The Fossum panel can be reached by taking road 163 towards Bullarebygden for approx. 2 km. The car park is on the right side of the road while the Fossum panel is on the left side of the road.

Many of the male figures at Fossum carry large axes in their hands. These are ceremonial axes that could not be used for work or fighting.
The axes and the horns indicate that the Fossum Carving describes one or several rituals that took place more or less at the same time. The scene is surrounded by ships, some of which seem to be travelling west, towards the ocean, and others that seem to be returning. Perhaps these were rituals or celebrations that were held in connections with the journeys?

There are also two men in a boat, holding axes and facing each other. They may be a pair of twins. The twins were the sons of the Sun God and the Sun Goddess. Their twin sons rescued shipwrecked humans from drowning and came to the aid of ships in a storm.

If you follow the path for about 200 metres, you reach an interesting carving that has not been coloured in. Here you can find the most beautiful Sun Horse in Bohuslän, it is very similar to the Sun Chariot that has been discovered in Trundholm, Denmark, but here it has been carved into the rock. The Sun Horse was a popular motif during the Scandinavian Bronze Age, a way to illustrate how people imagined the sun and its journey across the sky.

The sun was a common motif during the Bronze Age. It is found on objects made of gold, bronze and ceramics – and on rock carvings. The Sun Horse on the Fossum- Balken carving is very similar to the Sun Chariot in Denmark.

The Horse, or the Sun Horse, is the most common animal, both on rock carvings and on bronze objects. A possible reason and explanation for this may be the huge importance of the sun both in religion and in the world view of ancient man. The sun is the ruler of time and seasons, the sun was the most important condition for the success of an agricultural society. Without the sun, no crops. The many beautiful images are therefore unlikely to be art for the sake of it.

At this time, people knew nothing about the rotation of the earth, but they were able to watch the way the sun moves from left to right, from sunrise in the east to sunset in the west. The horse-drawn sun is a visualisation of their thoughts on the way the sun moves across the sky. The Sun Horse is depicted with a rope connected to a round disk – the sun. The direction, in which it moves, from left to right, is consistent across the many versions of this image.


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