Age of Rituals Early round at Dal

Early round at Dal

On Dal we have the key to understanding Scandinavian rock-carvings. Here we find an organised symbol language telling about the ritual year of our ancestors. Then we know at least something about their ideas and understand a bit more of their life

Elks' land, time law, dating, Ramadan, myth of agriculture, Dal, runic staff, shaman, rock-carvings at Alta Norway, ritual axes, elk and deer, nobility, boat axe, ground axes or chisels, slab stone cist

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This is Elks' land

"This is the Elks' land". A greeting at the mouth of Dalbergsaa, Southern Dal.

This is the oldest complete calendar found on Dal. This is the normal form of simple calendars. It has a picture in the centre and the moons or the counting of summer as a half circle. The spring rituals are most important. Then comes second the Ramadan or beginning of the winter but without specific planning. In Egypt winter was seasons of the goat and later the cow.

View towards Vaenersborg at the rock. The carving faces Lake Vaenern near the mouth of Dalbergsaa river. The river was the road to the settlements deeper in the land.

It is easy to associate to hunting and also to the carvings with animals in Northern Scandinavia. Although they are probably the oldest and not as simple as one may think. The carving may look primitive at first sight. They say this with the same mind, as when I as a boy thought that living it during Stone Age would have been easy. As there were large free land and plenty of animals one had only to take a bow and an axe and go for a hare. However I guess one will never get the skill to come near animals at once. Hunting animals have often 10 to 20 trials behind a killed animal.

It is quite normal that many of the ritual rock-carvings in Scandinavia have been made near the ancient waterline. Their Time Law was much connected to water and water-flow in heaven and on earth. The other main location is at the border of ancient fields and graveyards.

Details from the carving. A. Icons of spring, B. Counting 22 periods of nine days, C. Ramadan is half year in autumn.

Have you tried to go fishing with the demand on coming home with fish? I have one summer because the cats were waiting at the gate. Mostly I was at the river in the evening but sometimes even in daytime. Of course the cat got catfish. Nevertheless, one cannot come to your wife and children and say: "Bad luck, we have to suck the thumb this evening". This sort of problem was the birth of Mother Invention. Women had to compensate the lack of foreseeing in man mind.

Time law makes the world go around

Time was as important to our ancestors as it is today. This is valid since mankind has lived in organised settlements. Signs of this are found as rock-paintings in caves and on different kinds of remains. Moon-calendars have been for more than 20,000 years as far as we know.

Using stellar constellations may also be that old. The beginning of continuous agriculture required a more detailed calendar and with it the myths of agriculture. That is in our word instruction or timetable for the season. They made most of the early calendars for six to seven moons. I suggest you, have a look at stars and constellations before reading this book.

It was an ingenious idea to "paint" the myths on the night sky. They got an automatic big clock to watch in a certain direction at a definite time during the night or in the morning. Thus, they gave the convention to follow the ecliptic and the sunrise during the year. They discovered the equinoxes and the solstices and got four stable time limits during the solar year.

Then followed the convention of using a spring equinox as start of the summer. Although in southern cultures, it was more suitable to use halfway between winter solstice and spring equinox as in Egypt. To this came the moon counting which divide the year in moons.

This is not more complicated than the yearly ritual of church and Christianity starting in the spring. To decide the right time is not easy as we in Sweden know twice a year when setting our watches for summer time and wintertime.

The church has set the almanac for many decades ahead. That is because our ancestors investigated the cycles and periods of the moon and sun. The greatest effort was for an example when they ground grooves for a millennium and learned about the moon cycle.

Still, first moon after the spring equinox is used as start of the ritual year in many cultures including our own. In this book we shall see how they put together the years and rituals to lead the activities of a year.

The elk is the target for tough guys still today. Yet, it has no chance against automatic riffles. This elk is supposed to come from Karelia and was found in Alunda, Uppland

Using the old moon counting to get longer periods with which to handle was convenient. It was probably natural that all these interests towards the sky and the celestial sphere lead to enlightenment. Knowledge increased about the cyclic action of the water circulation and organic life overall.

So they told the myths to store information about the nature of general environment. Not in our words, but in myths and had to include many aspects in a short myth.

It is supposed that this took some thousand year and many different variants on the same theme. The main demand was that the youngest and the slowest thinker should understand it. Heavens become an organised common brain of mankind. Still, today most of the peoples in the world have their god or gods in the sky. In practice the figures thought in heavens become a model for the sites and settlements and their rituals of the year.

An indefinable animal at Bolet, Aanimskog. Shape and size suggest it be the oldest carving on Dal. There are some cup-marks at the rock too.

Still the hunter in man has his "real thing" or the high game of the ritual animal. In our days it is Thi Elk. In Southern Scandinavia it was maybe the Deer and in East Sweden the wild Boar. The Bear has been the high game in entire Europe

This is found in many carvings in Scandinavia. Observe that this is not the only form of information one may get from the rocks. They say that Dal is "A miniature of Sweden" and some investigator has said that Dal has the most various carvings in Scandinavia. This is true. However, we on Dal have also the key to understanding a part of our ancestor's story. Observe also that we say "on Dal" as a local tongue.

In a cave dated 7,900 BC at Vistehula Stavanger, Norway was found bones from about seventy species of wild life. Further more are all species belonging to gathering from all herbs and so on. Tools leave only remains of stone or hard bone.

Man had to know when, how, with what, how many etc. when collecting all raw materials. They had also to know when were the best seasons for every specie. When did they have time for work on houses, boats, tools and so on?

Today we find only the stony and bony remains when digging for our ancestors.

The runic staff with the important days as symbols is much older than Middle Age. It is perhaps seen on ten to twenty millenniums old artefacts as secret symbols or in our carvings. Man had to know the time ... or as they said the time and room of doing or living. A time to be born ... a time to live ... a time to die ... with all the activities at those times.

Axes for everyday purposes. These occurred for millenniums.

Dividing time and living room is artificial. It leads to contemplation one's navel and thus forgetting the surrounding environment.

The foreword to this book is a reminder that we all wear masks. Some tell who the man is and what he knows. Others like the manager in black and attache' case wears almost a suit of armour telling he is from the Otherworld. Our ancestors would have loved the word. Different times and places require different masks.

Often our valuing stands on the outlook. The shaman stands for taking the guise. It still essential in all researches today if we want really to understand an object or environment. An old Owl teaching me technique taught me to think technique, the at once it was easier to understand the calculating. In my branch it was about 90 percent mathematics and only 10 percent reading. Without imaging reality there were no life in the numbers.

In fact I have found only one "possible" shaman in Northern carvings. They say that another is, but it is in the middle of a row of imaginative creations and may be a god as well. Nevertheless, who knows what gods are like?

However, the Northern pantheons do not have as wide range as in Egypt. Many figurative idols on our carvings have bird head like in the early Middle East. It is perhaps a symbol for the flying thought, which is almost non-existing. Maybe I do not have the imagination to see shamans and magic rites everywhere in the past. Instead I try to see a normal life among people millenniums ago.

It seems that the carvings of Northern Scandinavia's including Kola Peninsula are the oldest. Large figures of ritual animals characterise the Mesolithic period mostly before c.4200 BC. Nevertheless, from the beginning of the New Age 4200 BC one may find symbols or ideograms belonging to the methods of astro-rituals ... not to relate with astrology.

Carving at the vicarage of Aur on Dal. The small figures associate to the myth of Inanna and the upper wheel divides the year in four quarters.

They used simply the sky as an almanac. They shifted constellations of stars sometimes more often than the standardised zodiac of our time, due to precession or other needs.


The rock-carvings of Alta Norway give the best lead to a chronology because of the elevation of earth. It is about five metres a millennium. They have made the carvings near the water level in epochs. Under vegetation the oldest are found and have been untouched for millenniums. At Dalbergsaa the big elks and the big boats associate to those early carvings of Alta, but may be as late as 3100 BC.

Pollen analysis on Ireland shows a remarkable increase of grasses and ash while they introduce wheat around 3800 BC. They call the phenomenon elm decline because of the drastic decline of elm. Oak and hazel increased at the same time suggesting a more pastoral landscape. Wheat is seen for only some generation and returns about 2400 BC for a few generations. Grasses, ribwort plantain, ash, hazel increases again and oak stays at a higher level than before the first elms decline.

Ritual axes from the fourth millennium. The shapes are not practical but for rituals and probably an early ritual of Inanna in fourth millennium BC. To the right a boat axe made locally.

Some call these axes battle-axes. However there is no evidence and finds are relatively few. They also say that the society was stratified. The question is, was there enough people? I doubt, and if only in few places. The men buried with ritual axes have surely been priest kings or leaders of the small settlements with ritual as leading organisation. This may be compared with the buried high priest at Stonehenge. He had his insignia with him because they saw it as the era of him was gone. In a way they buried time too.

The conclusion is that the early farming has given an increase in grasses and conditions for domestic animals and for wild grass eaters too. In Germany they notice the same and in Southern Scandinavia the elm declines come a few centuries later. Nevertheless, on Dal it may be only local experiment and of lesser scale.

In Bohuslaen the carving of Bronze Age contends at places a lot of elk and deer. Maybe they have seen all animals as their cattle. At Aspeberget is the oldest game law in hunting deer. It says that hunting sucking roe deer is forbidden.

At Drammen, Norway symbols on the same theme are found, The Norwegian of today seems less educated when they are knocking baby-seals for luxurious urban jet sets.

Our ancestors knew the same I experienced when I found a deep-hole in a river and took all the old perch. Some had more skin than flesh. One cannot go fishing there again for a decade. Nature is generous but only to those who know to love and handle it with care and not take more than the reproduction rate.

This book is about the ideas and thoughts of an early population. I call it the nobility because those with rituals and laws take priority and make the laws. This is general "law" everywhere.

The earliest indications are ritual axes, double axes or facet axes. A special form is the boat axe found in a few specimens. We have no passage graves on Dal to tell about a huge population. Still, we cannot talk about a primitive people those days. The few remains only suggest large ritual spheres during the fourth millennium BC and possibly the ritual boat axe some centuries of the third.

In the third millennium BC many more ritual finds are present. These are big ground axes or chisels. They brought most of them from Skaane. I suppose the axe type of ritual weapon was used in the moon ritual like that of Inanna. (The other main ritual was that of Isis with a dagger as weapon and supposed to have been introduced with the slab cists ... se next chapter.)

A ground ritual axe from Rolfskaerr, Tydje. The flint tells that it was maybe bought in Skaane. The length is 44,5 cm and longest found on Dal and from the third millennium.'

It is a good hypothesis to connect these to a ritual of grinding leaving grooves. At Gotland they are found in 68 places and at Flyhov Vaestergautland are 55 grooves in a row. They probably grind these as a spring ritual intending to synchronise the first full moon after equinox and star Antares in Scorpio. They make these in step with the Moon period. That is 19 years as the periodicity of the moon. Thus, 55 grooves mean about 1045 years of continuous ritual from c.3100 to 2150 BC.

Of the ground axes there is a lot more in our museums. Perhaps they divided Dal in a lot of folk lands during the third millennium BC.

My grandpa was a great bear-hunter with 63 nose rings as trophy. This bear-headed club was found in Eastgautland and it is supposed to be Karelian origin.

All remains and especially megalithic or other big stone remains have been a claim from generations of owners. That stands for graves, carvings, and late runic stones as well.

Some special forms of claim marks are those where they make some sort of time mark. That is the four quarters and a mark for a spring equinox. It is as when we put a date on important documents.

Of the territorial claims is that to Mother Earth of the second millennium BC. The other two are approximately from about 2000 BC and the period when they made the slab stone cist . In the writing I use maybe the short "cist" sometimes.The carvings are in the neighbourhood of cists. Shortly I call them cists because there is no other of the kind in this topic. Se more about claims in chapter about calendars.

Next chapters are about the same time. It was the time when Dal becomes really organised and opened in the fittest places of Mother Earth.