The moon year

The moon year

The moon year is seen early in the symbolism of India, but did not become popular until last millennium in our Western World. We see in the carvings that the Phoenicians reached India too and they perhaps brought new ideas to Levant and Ugarit.

Moon year, tree, power belt, Erosion, L. Baltzar, Agiri-goat, The Stag, Sun Stag, Apollo, Artemis, altar, Iphigenia, Vitlycke rock-carvings, World Heritage, Moon calendar Ekenberg,

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After the fall of the Hittites the culture recovered in northern Syria to a Neo-Hittite culture in the fertile lowlands below the Taurus Mountains. Temples from ca 750 BC in Kültepe and Kanesh tell about a continued Hittitian culture. It tells that they used moon counting where the king was the highest priest as known from the early culture. At that time the eagle or Aquila was the leading icon.

This four-wheeled wagon drawn by a pair of oxen comes maybe from the Levant.

We see four different figures and may expect it belong to the four seasons of the year. The long skirts may be the connections to the Syrian culture.


One swallow does not make a summer ... this year swallows are hardly seen.

Nevertheless, there are more signs as the tunic seen on this carving from Kalleby Bohuslaen. The dress has a belt and a border and we may compare it with reliefs of the hero Teschub from the Hittite pantheon.

The power belt

The power belt became a fitting for all heroes and becoming heroes during Bronze Age and continued to our days young men in fitness training. The belts with much silver were of course a sort of power belt in countryside to our days. A head of family could have a fortune in his belt and in Middle Age the stick with a hammer was much the same shape as the boat axe. King Gustav Wasa (16th century) had several in his dressing room to be used when he wanted to be the first farmer of state. However it was not a ritual as when the emperor of Japan did his ploughing in spring as head of farming.

A trisection of the zodiac with a leg in Cancer gives the other legs in Libra/Arcturus and Aquarius. See also Arild Hauge

The later we call Waterman/Aquarius and in Edda time he was perhaps Wotan or Odin and the Romans told he was Mercurius. Arcturus may have been Tyr who gave his arm and Thor or his hammer was Geminis that took over after the Tree as symbol of spring. On this carving from Austfold Norway we see the three legs as the hand and tree and the empty boat. In the middle symbols of Libra or similar. The ship carrying man or men are the Waterman. The traders often worked in pair we know from some runic stone.

 We see this symbol in the collection of Egyptian glyphs and stands for the tri-legged moon year. The rock in Hjulatorp Smaaland below is eroded but we recognise the almost normal symbols from the last millenium. On one leg of the trisection is marked a sitting or Libra.

Hjulatorp Smaaland.

The Tumblers' rocks at Haugsbyn Dal have three sections although one is hidden nowadays.

Eroding rock art

The documentalists have tried to do true describing of the carvings. However it becomes difficult to sort out all the "buts" as there are several layers and the rock is eroded and so on. That is the normal case in many places since our ancestors used the rocks as boards

On this section from Traundelag Norway we see they used same symbolism as in Southern Scandinavia and us already saw that they knew about the types of vessels in Egypt.

The oldest layers are the big animals and they are probably more than 6000 years of age. We need to be at the place if we want to sort out if the ships could be sorted by the techniques in carving. Motives and types of ships are difficult to date and the symbols are often the best dating facts. Here the spirals or ram horns are in the oval figures with several rings. The lures on the ships are of same age as the spirals.

If we want really to understand the thoughts of our ancestors it is a good thing to draw the figures by hand and feel how they made them. The feeling and knowledge about their world help the hand to find the real figures. Drawing something is much easier if one knows what it is. Many times the understanding comes when drawing and especially when figuring out the more abstract symbols.

The Grand Old Man of documentation L Baltzar worked twenty-two summers in Bohuslaen drawing almost exact pictures of the carvings. He used a grid to get the right proportions in drawing. He had the fortune that the modern eroding had not began and can sometimes give a better picture than we get today.

Sometimes he has missed a detail or a figure as the forehead on the ship from Aspeberget and a dog on a stem on another ship. However, in other cases his version might be the only true left. Our interpreting of course must have a true documentation to lean on or else we have always to remember the uncertainty factor.

Aries and half-year symbols

 The goat is enlarged from the ship. The latest technique is used in this documentation from Finntorp Bohuslaen and they have pictured the erosion in certain parts of the carving. Maybe the model was the Agiri-goat from Greece.

It is an Aries-carving too as seen in the eroding ram horns and the long-horned goat on the ship is magnificent. We see some pairhood too as the two figures with different body. The one with circles is probably the cowboys' year and the other regulated is that of growers. In ceremonies the lures were logically for cowboys while the axes were for growers.

The growers needed maybe the strongest weapon to keep the cowboys and cows apart from the fields. We easily forget the third part and it is the gatherers, hunters and fishermen if they were a special group.

The erosion is of course as old as Mother Earth, but man and industrialisation have speeded it up. I am of course mostly concerned about the world heritage on Dal and especially at Haugsbyn. The rocks are clay slate and erode easily by acid rain. Another factor was that the farmer came too near with his fertiliser distributor and soon yellow lichen was seen on the rock. Some lichen speeds up the process by keeping the rock unnaturally wet. When comparing old pictures with today, we clearly see that the lichen has come in the last decades.

We have to get all rocks documented in a professional way because that is the only safe way to spare the documents in stone for the future.

On the ship from Massleberg Bohuslaen are some symbols in a different style than normal. Is it a goat or is it a deer?

In other places we see the deer as the real thing. The Hittites and neo-Hittites are a culture of more than thousand years and contain other motives than those mentioned in last chapters.

One of them is The Stag and sometimes a man standing on it. In Babylonia is also found a man standing on some animal like Ahura Masdha on the Bull in Persia. In the Minoan world it was perhaps the acrobat making a Salto Mortal, i.e. jump over the bull. Is this a motive from the night sky consisting of the asterism Kaitos and what we normally see as one of the fishes?

The formalism of the known zodiac and starry sky came with astrology in last millennium BC. The asterisms besides the zodiac alter a little from culture to another. On the other hand the Sun Stag was one of Apollo's attributes. They attributed Apollo and Artemis with many animals, but here when it comes to calendar symbols it has to be in the ancient zodiac too.

Artemis is maybe the hunting woman on some carvings and she is hidden in some place names too. Originally she is maybe Greek substitute for Archer that in the Ionian world were two sisters nursing the child or maybe these were New Moon and Venus? We have in the Samic culture the Bow-woman as one of the midwives

On our rock carvings we see many deer but the elk is the real thing as it is today too. They say that Sweden stands still when the elk-horn blows. In Norway a room is rapidly emptied when the shouts come ""Codfish is coming!" In Karelia in old days houses were left with women and children when the message comes "The Bear is found".

From this carving we get a reminder that hunting was a part of life at least in autumn when the great animals are fat.

We also see that the spitz was then the normal hunting dog as it is today in the Northern Hemisphere. On the ritual ship we see a dog as forehead and at least one of the animals on deck is a goat. The symbol under the offered animal is the symbol altar in international use.

Iphgenia is offer instead

Associations about Iphigenia come easily and that means "offer instead". At some time man understood that dear thing could not be offers, so the idea of a more suitable offer was made a convention. A Sumerian tale is about how Inanna became furious when someone throws a gnawed bull-leg as offer.

In the Northern wilderness they gave back the well-cooked bones of the bear to nature in a ritual gesture. We practice that custom still, however we see no rituals. There is no awareness of the fact that we owe nature an offer when we take something out of it. It is a question about circulation.

In these rock-carvings from the Wood Haugsbyn Dal are two ram horn symbols, which date the main part.

However there are some footprints and a star which are cut and may be younger than the rest. This is a version made by Tommy Andersson in charge at Haugsbyn and the cut symbols he has detected. On several carvings at Haugsbyn are cut figures and they are probably added in the middle of the last millennium BC.

There are some small differences compared to the version made by the Province Museum. In the middle row is a birdman, which the museum saw as a buck head. Note the man standing on an animal in the left lower corner. I doubt it would work in practise. No clear order is seen but perhaps the left side is spring and the right winter.


Vitlycke is official World Heritage, however I think we should class every important place as world heritage. Otherwise all the money goes to a few places according to a list. The rock sloping rock is impressing since it is like an inverted amphitheatre where we stay down at the scene and our ancestors look at us from the big rising grandstand on the large rock. Some of their mimic we may understand ... but can we see if they like and approve what we do?

"Three thousand years of history look upon you!"

... according to the legend Napoleon said those words standing in the front of the pyramids and the Sphinx.

At Vitlycke we can surely add 3000 more years since we see shades of weapons and rock-carvings from forth millennium on the rock. We can naturally use the words of Napoleon in many places. It is up to our imagination and what kind of culture we prefer. Emperors love high buildings.

Showing it by photo is difficult. It has to be seen.

In picturing the figures only sections may be shown at a time. This is as I see it the central section and the great big liar divide the toe part in two. The heel is marked in the next picture. In the very toe is a small text I read "This is the toe of the den". That gave me the idea to see the entire rock as a big footprint.

In Denmark and Sweden there are a few place names as for instance "foot-border" suggesting that there have been a dividing of land in "foot". Folk memory on Dal tells about and old principle to put soil in the shoe as a ritual symbol of owning land. We may say, "Where man set his feet he owns the land".

We can see that it must have been used as a sketch board under a long period. On a night picture I noted a pair of almost eroded "dagger staffs" as they call them. Mostly we find them in the Alps about 3000 BC. They are to the left of the bull.

To the right is what seems sexual intercourse with an animal. However, the long leg and the form associate to a new moon and something in the imagined world. Thus it may be when the spring equinox was in Perseus about 1700 BC. We know they saw a deer in front of Perseus. His name means "the engender or pre-doer".

On the top is a wedding where an early Thor marries. The couple is tied to their legs and that may be to join in the bond of marriage. In medieval formulas they said, "marry to bed". High Greece and Roman custom tells about the bond of Hymen the god of marriage. In Egypt we see the cloth as symbol of the joint.

The sword knob dates the scene to ca 1250 BC. In the middle is also a scene with the mourning lady we may suppose to be Isis or similar and as we see a top in growing seed about 1100 BC it may be a mission at that time. These few figures give us an idea about the different times and motives.

On this section we see the border between heel and toe part.

On top is the wild rider and in the middle may be a fire. It may be ritual as well as sign of burn beating. At the border is some ritual and we know that they had customs about taking hostage to keep peace between folk lands and when travelling via others' land.

Vitlycke is an example of the most common carvings with many figures from different times and seldom with order and possibility to find a tread to follow. Those who lived in that age knew of course what they could skip and what to take into account as custom and law of the time. However we get an image of what they have believed in and talked about during time.

Moon calendar at Ekenberg 1

This calendar section is one third of the rock 7 at Ekenberg 1 Norrkauping.

It looks like an easy-going ritual and good humour in some details when they at the end of year draw away with the old year. In front is a forerunner with a shield and the archetype is known from our times. The spirals maybe date it to the middle of Bronze Age. However, it is difficult to see if the figures are made at the same time.