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Tanum Rock Carvings

SWEDEN | Thursday, 30 August 2012 | Views [1746]

Odin and Connie, Tanum Rock Art WHS

Odin and Connie, Tanum Rock Art WHS

It is unusual for us to rush through a country, especially one as beautiful as Norway.  Of course we will see more of Norway on our cruise next week, but we also wanted a chance to see some of the places the ship will not go to.  When we were confronted with the cost of lodging in Lillehammer, where even the youth hostel over the railway station cost $150, we decided to push on back to Sweden. 

Our hotel in Tanum wasn't cheap either but it was only a short drive from the Rock Carvings of Tanum World Heritage Site, 45 square kilometers, four separate sites and more than 500 rock carvings.  The carvings depict life in the Bronze Age, scenes of love, power and magic scraped and chipped into the granite bedrock between 1800 - 500 BCE.  It's mainly warrior men and their boats with only a few women.  One exception is the famous "Wedding Ceremony."  The largest figure is more than two meters tall, possibly the god Odin.


   The Wedding Ceremony

Many of the carvings have been eroded over time.  In a move uncharacteristic of the World Heritage philosophy, the carvings have been painted red to make them more visible and pleasing to the public, even though there is no evidence that they were ever painted.  I am of two minds; is this desecration of the site or a valid enhancement?  

    Tanum Rock Art "au natural"

The rock art at Valcamonica in northern Italy which is even older looks just fine "au natural."


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