Archaeological finds

The sun chariot from Trundholmsmossen is a central and unique find from the Bronze Age, but the many lurs (often found in pairs), large bronze axes from Southern Scandinavia and razors, should also be mentioned. No less than 600 bronze artifacts, containing around 1400 engraved images are found in Denmark. The images on the bronzes show the same iconography and style as the images on the rocks in Scandinavia. The prevailing occurrence of these images tells us something about the great importance of these symbols. They were everywhere, even on perishable material, in a similar way to how we surround ourselves today with religious symbols – the Christian cross, statues of the virgin Mary, etc.

Trundholm vagn

The images on the bronzes are, in general, more detailed, and because bronze often can be dated, it gives us the possibility for a typological comparison, for the images on both the bronzes and the rocks. Many motives return over long periods of time, such as the sun pulled by a horse – sun horse – but also the boat, the most frequent depicted figurative symbol (approx. 15.000-20.000 boats in Scandinavia). They vary in both their form and content. From the resulting stylistic variations evidenced, it is possible to create a boat chronology with iconographic importance. The same technique can also be applied to other motives.

rakkniv vagn

The detailed iconography exhibited on the razors gives us a treasure trove of knowledge concerning the imagery connected to the sun and its journey through the sky. During part of this journey, the sun was pulled by a horse. During the Bronze Age, people did not know about the rotation of the earth, and they believed the sun moved from left to right –pulled by the sun horse during the day. The images on the razors also tell us about the journey of the sun at night, when the sun sailed back aboard a boat, aided by other animals, including the fish and the bird – ready for sunrise the next morning.

Meaning of Rock Art Rock Art Documentation


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