Unique 3D Documentation Of Scandinavia’s Bronze Age Rock Art Launched

– The Swedish Rock Art Research Archives has joined forces with the County Administrative Board of Västra Götaland and researchers are now launching a project that will result in new unique 3D documentation of Scandinavia’s Bronze Age rock art.

The project is conducted and administrated by the University of Gothenburg and the goal is to set up an online database of the 100 000 documents of rock art, from different parts of Sweden, stored in the SHFA (Svenskt HällristningsForskningsarkiv). There are currently about 100 000 documents of rock art, from different parts of Sweden, stored in the SHFA archive and about 10 700 documents are available online.

As previously mentioned in our article Scandinavia has the largest concentration of Bronze Age rock art in Europe. Research has showed that there are approximately thirty thousand registered sites depicting figurative art (human and animal figures are frequent subjects), abstract and other images such as cup marks and cupules.

At Tanum, near Tanumshede, Bohuslän, Sweden, there is the high concentration of petroglyphs carved rocks of the Nordic Bronze Age. They are known as ‘Tanum Petroglyphs’.

The ‘Tanum petroglyphs’ contain thousands of images carved on over 600 panels. The ancient site covers an area of about 51 hectares (126 acres (0.5 km²).

The aim of The Swedish Rock Art Research Archives is to digitalize, present and store these prehistoric rock art treasures making them available to the public and researchers.

“Laser technology has proven to be very successful and provides us with new insight into details of the rock art and thus makes it possible to study the petroglyphs from a new perspective, “said Johan Ling, researcher at SHFA archive and docent at the historical department at University of Gothenburg, where the project is conducted and administrated.


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