Photosafari at Haugsbyn

Photosafari at Haugsbyn

At Haugsbyn on Dal we find the ultimate World Heritage when it come to symbolic language in rock-carvings. Here we find the oldest ritual law in Europe from about 2000 BC, Farmer's Almanac, Place of Thing during 3000 years before AD

Photosafari at Haugsbyn, Ronarspit, claim, Peasant's Almanac, timewheel, snipe, unite or marry, Hand/ Cancer

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Haugsbyn is a good place for an overlook over the world of rock-carvings. Together with the Evenstorp ritual calendar from ca 2200 BC they give the essence of the theme of ritual laws, practical astronomy and world order of the small societies of Stone and Bronze Age. At Evenstorp there is not much more than the law on a rock. But Haugsbyn is a beautiful place with many rocks.

The small museum give a good picture of the Scandinavian Bronze age and the Law rock is mighty as the only known early rostrum in Europe. It is also the earliest peasant's law where cultivators and cattlers came together in a treaty.

These rock-carvings are also the gateway to understanding the cultures in Sumer and Egypt, since we here get the simple picture that is essential to remember that the issue is to get food on table. High culture came later and the simple rituals became mystical

We begin the safari at the Ronar spit R15 and walk to R10 and the café at 10. On the way we pass R14 the Timewheel, R12 the Law and R11 the Meadow

The Ronar Spit


It was custom that newcomers settled on an island to recognise and get acquainted. It was usage among traders to settle at some island, since it was easy to defend and guard the merchandises.


The carvings on the West Side are the oldest. The sight is from south to north. The Time-wheel is in line with the big tree.


Maybe they came from south through the system of lakes and rivers. They landed here and made their first claim marks here.

The first people surely came from south along the rivers and through the seas. With their claim marks they said "We are here, where Man set his foot he owns the land"


This I call The Farmer's Almanac since the intelligible parts are about how to grow something.

The rock is by nature split in three parts. The left part has three summer-ships and serpents of the agriculture ritual in their calendar in the sky, i.e. our zodiac. In the middle parts are time-wheels and symbols showing "going beneath".

The middle part contends time-wheels and symbols of the "go beneath"-ritual. There is also a symbol for "collegium of seven" or the leads of the summer moons.

The minor part is the winter and a symbol showing 15 (families) charging the harvest.


An old proverb tells that, when the snipe come, there is enough grass for the mare and filly


This odd figure is on the spit straight south from the time-wheel at the Shore.

In the symbol language of Högsbyn they often set symbols together as if it was meant as readable figures. Maybe there is some word in this too.


Two circles are units and two serpents connected means two amalgamated lives. Marriage of some kind is a near solution.

People associate easily to the sun when they see a circle: They think that our ancestors had some mystical cult in front of the sun. Then they would be blinded.

It is more sophisticated than that. A circle is an area if we see it as a plane. It is something round if we see it in space. But if we see only the line it could symbolise the plain orbit or a round. If the circle is furnished with a cross it is the four cardinal points of the sun-year. In fact they use circles to symbolise half years as well as quarters.

In symbolising their main task was to decide the ritual year. They were using the forces of fertility in nature. Naturally their rituals and calendars were made to make order in their lives.

Indefinite wavy lines mean time or the Time River. Three wavy line is the Flood and then it could be Watergate or the Flood in sky or some other heavy river. A serpent has head and tail and is a definite lingth in time and space. Since it is dynamic and has life it was used to symbolise the womb of heaven and in soil. That is Water-snake. Another is Serpent in sky and symbol of the havest. But it could also symbolise a lifetime, a marriage and two serpents were the forces in life.

Much of this symbolism sustained to Viking Age. For instance in the on the runic Sigurd Rock we se the very old symbols we see also on Rock 1 in Högsbyn. The year is symbolised by two serpents each for 6 moons plus a little one for the 11 days that make a year even.


The hand dates the rock-carvings to after 1200 BC. Above that are ships symbolising time and what should be in the growing season.

On this part there are two symbols we easily can associate to the Phoenicians. One is the hand and the other is double-snakes. Some grave-stela in Cartage has the four cardinal symbols of year. They are the Hand/Cancer or Crab, the Sitting Tinia/Libra, Two Snakes and the Whale that is Kaitos in the sky.


We leave the Ronar spit.


The visitor may lift the eyes to the wonders of nature. The trees are about a half century old.


At the Shore is a territorial claim


On a little rock is this claim.

A claim normally shows four season-marks. To the right the contoured footprint reads PA = on or "begin here" and a little cupmark shows spring in this case. The couple is the growing season and we easily associate to Inanna and Dumuzi as the first-lowers.

To the left the open footprint is open in the heel and that is harvest time. The negative footprint is the "fertility is beneath". In Egyptian symbolism they have a "blue lady" meaning "on the other side". The inundation period was that of pregnancy in nature. In Scandinavian symbolism the winter was just a transport path.


Along the track the bluebells ring.


This is a timeless picture ... surely they had time for this too.

Most of the places with rock-carvings in Scandinavia are near water or the water level those days. Other places are near ancient fields or ancient graveyards. A special case is the rock-paintings that often are made on a cliff with overhang and that have preserved the paintings. We know nothing about how many paintings have eroded away.


On the small rocks are small rock-carvings.

Maybe they have used them as marked directions and there may have been poles there too. On the point right of the tree on the other side of the lake there is a small rock-mark. Maybe it was their West Point if they made observations from a pole at the time-wheel.


On the centre of the Shore is this time-wheel only a few meter from the shore. Maybe it was the observation point and marked with a pole.

They usually observed the stars near water to get a good horizon and the best conditions for the observations. The wheel has double circles and one quarter of the outer side is doted. That is the "go beneath" quarter of the sun-year. The inner wheel is crossed in 45 degrees compared with the outer and that is the beginning of February, May, August and November.

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