Culture as cargo 1

Culture as cargo 1

Besides the domestic innovation there were naturally the in-flow of ideas and products from outside. Physic artefact we can usually tell from where they come. The verbal flow is just much guessing. Neither do we know how much they used of that we see on our rocks

Cultural cargo, thumb-rules of Vikings, clinker-built, figure-head, offer find, buck, Aspeberget, Ekenberg, running-dog, ram horns, time-boats, ritual boats, rosin-cake, catch octopus, traders

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Cultural cargo

The world outlook in my childhood was a little bit narrow. In boys' fantasies it was romantic to think about wildies, aborigines and stonies making their canoes of birch bark or maybe from a tree. We learned that they burnt out the tree and especially the Danish word "udhule" sounded romantic. To that came that in Denmark with few woods and mostly open landscape we always dreamt about the wilderness and we thought that a primitive life was the only real life

in reality I think all real people want life as easy as possible and rather use everything that make it easier.

In the middle of the sixties I spent a summer on a mansion near a bit of river between two power plants. I borrowed two boats from an old man. One was big and difficult to manage alone. The other was small and just so wide that one could sit in it. It was made of three ordinary boards as flat bottom and it was about three metres long. You had to be careful especially when they opened for the water in the other end. Another reason is that i cannot swim. Still many a fishermen say they cannot swim and that makes them careful.

Anyhow I could use it for setting out the long lines and also fish by casting and got the fish on board. Only once I had some problem when I got a pike weighing 6 kilos. Another accident was when some thief-fishermen took up my long line and dared to ask if they got anything on my line. Then they began to circle around me with their boat with outboard, but I managed to keep the peek against the waves.

With this I only want to tell that I can imagine how our ancestors went to seas with small vehicles. They do it still today in many places as I saw on TV some in the Indian Ocean on high seas just sitting or laying on his stomach on a piece of wood. It is not only the stomachs that make males risk their lives. Maybe it is some macho gene that has to prove how much we dare?

The virtual cat looking for a bird, but what means the cupmarks. The Cock marks spring perhaps. In Greece and Egypt were symbols with a bird on a pillar for the Cancer/Crab. Some other cock-pictures are seen on the rocks. Anyhow they are newcomers

If the Scandinavian could sail on our big seas and along the Atlantic they surely could manage a trip to the Mediterranean by see or the rivers too. Simple vehicles they could make in most places. However making things with quality ask for dry and chosen material and a year or two of planning and preparing For building see Vikings' thumb-rules next chapter

It takes a day to polish the top piece of the front to a Rolls Royce. It is always a question of good tools and much time. We have to keep in mind that the Egyptian culture was made with simple tools. The oak coffins in Danish Bronze Age mounds seem primitive, but when we see the gifts we understand they were able to make things with great finish. Finds of chisels from third millennium shows that Bronze Age people could rely on a tradition of more than thousand years.

In Guldhøj, Jutland they found a folding chair of the same model as in the tomb of Tuthankamun. In the tomb there was also a boomerang wrapped in birch-bark and it is easy to think it came from North-Europe. Especially when we compare with the Egyptian ships on the Norwegian rocks.

Finds of cultural items of bronze and wood tells about cultural influence but also about very good craftsmanship. It is not sure that the houses were those turf-barns they reconstruct. Clay and wood disappear in the wet climate of Europe. Later style from Viking Age shows that they had figureheads on the houses and maybe other decorations. Then it is another thing that the style is always depending on the wealth of the builder.

Very often we see only the top of the iceberg. Archaeology is not allowed to speculate too much about the artefacts they get into light with their brushes. But when it comes to our ancestors believes and religion they have free hands and brains to speculate in sun cult, shamanism and ancestors afraid of ghost?

We have naturally all right in the world to build on what we know and try to fill the gaps. We have to use pure logic and try to understand the pictures and the symbolism. If we see big ships we must ask were they real even when we have no physical proof. The figurative material force us to make relative dating, but as long as possible bind it to physical facts or known things in other cultures

This is one of the pictures that make us see that a ship-like figure is not always a ship. The figure surely belongs to astro-symbolism

I have no statistics, but my feeling is that there are more ship-like figures than real ships and then also in that count ships meant for the virtual journey. However that make us realise they used the idea of the boat for more than describing boats and journeys. We see the same use in south.


This image feed our doubts since there is an oar

However the cupmark and the broken stick make it more like a LEAK-ship as season symbol. There are a few on our rocks and some are just a slanting stick/pole. Naturally we have to compare with the Egyptian djed-pillar and the time was when the seed is growing. The same symbolism is on two of the boats in Haugsbyn. In one case there is a negative footprint instead of the cupmark above and in the other case there is a UN-symbol meaning to be/go below (surface).

Naturally this and other earlier symbolism force somebody to kill his believe in the "wild primitive Stone Age-man at least the past 7000 years. We are indoctrinated to think that big is best and that humankind need cities and machinery to solve the problems of survival. In nature normally the water seek the easiest way and otherwise nature use as little energy as possible. Humankind has lost the sense for proportions.

The idea to the ard is surely import and we see models we can name Egyptian, Beotian and Minoan. This seems to have been made at Jutland 800 BC. But for some reason it became soon an offer to the Bog Lady

The ard is made of lime-tree and the shoe of elder. That shows that they knew everything about the quality of different local materials. The mystery here is that it is an offer. Normally the logic seems that they gave to the bog thinks that was taken out of circulation, while other offers was meant to resurrect. Maybe they got the idea of iron shoe.

Mystery always fascinates man. Our rock-carvings carries mystery and so do much of our stony monuments. Studying them is more than a lifetime job. I have used much of my time for twenty years. Still I see new things and connections and find better formulations. I am pretty sure that they used the boat as symbol for picturing real journeys as well as when picturing abstract and virtual rounds. The boat encloses the suite or crowd in question on their way on the Time River.

  The Buck is hardly visible on the ship. It is maybe an agiri-buck known from the Minoan sphere and on it is an IN-spiral, which make us think that it is "spring equinox in the Buck". I have not found any of the kind in my Scandinavian material. The ship has the Greek shape and as cargo there is an ritual axe of the balta-type the pair of lures seem to be of late type there is another unidentified figure in front of the lure-blowers,. Besides the ship is the arm-less man we see in many place and I just wonder what the other man carry in his right hand.

I have discussed rock- images many times and it is fascinating how many opinions we have. Still I think that after a deeper discussion we would reach a point where the main explanation is that it is their year ritual we see as the red thread.

Above the ship is the picture of ram-horn and the cupmark marking that spring equinox was in Aries, however as always separate pictures need not to be made at the same time.

The Greeks have analysed the poems about Orpheus (go beneath logic) and they think the poems were written between 1800 and 1300 BC. They think that Aries were used from the 13th century onwards as fix-stars of spring equinox.

From Egypt we know of the adjustment of calendar by Ramesses in 1159 BC and the Khnum-symbolism became fashion in many places. In Bohuslaen we find the ram symbolism at Aspeberget, Balken and Hede for instance. Naturally the horns have another shape at Haugsbyn where most of them are found in the woods. Maybe they had the spring rituals in the grove (Lund, Hult).

The agiri-buck belongs to the same Minoan sphere as this sole time-rose from Ekenberg in East-Gautland

We find the rose in the ceiling in the palace Knossos on Crete, but also on rhytons (seed silos/oliveoil) together with the agiri-buck, the horn-altar, the double-spiral and a long-legged bird and they surely picture the four seasons. The single double-spiral we find at Haugsbyn and in other places and in Bohuslaen there are some rosette also from the ceiling of Knossos


Even if it is not perfect but this is the "running dog"-pattern, a symbol for the running time-space IN and OUT

The cut is from the long ship at Ekenberg and it is much in Minoan style. On the rock are many small details as if someone were telling about the life at Crete. Maybe it is drawn out of memory from a summer journey to the south.

When we see the direct loans we have to consider that they think the palace was destroyed before 1400 BC, however the culture continued later in Mycenae. Among the figures are some swords we can date to the middle of the Scandinavian Bronze Age. Still these facts help us in dating

These examples show that "the cargo" may be merchandises, tools and also culture of various kinds. We do not know how much of it comes into use. They analysed and made maybe trials and then they decided if it fitted for the Scandinavian conditions. The same patterns were surely the normal all over Europe.

Even if they could live on what nature gave at the place, but soon they discovered that they could get better supplies from other places. We have normally only flint and stones left from Stone Age but we can see the trade with these items. The bronzes tell the same story. Another thin is that young men are dreaming about adventures during the long Northern winter and a little trip abroad cool them down it is somethin timeless and universal in that.