Motifs

The Orant

Orants are not commonly found on Scanian rock carvings. They are depicted in a number of different ways, but always with the arms extended.

Cup marks

Elves were supernatural beings that favoured bogs and marshes where they appeared at night and danced like mist. In the morning, their activities appeared in the form of circles in the grass. According to local lore, you could become ill, even die, if you came into contact with elves.

Bragestenarna, Gislöv

Bragestenarna is a minor rock carving situated in a lush landscape with scattered ancient remains south of Gislöv village. Hundreds of Stone and Bronze Age finds discovered in the fields around Gislöv are now part of various farm and museum collections.

Hand

The Broby-Johansen Site

The Broby-Johansen site consists of 73 petroglyphs showing ships, wheel crosses, cup marks, two cloaks, a human form as well as several motifs that are hard to identify. Two more carved rocks featuring 21 images were discovered in 2009 about twenty metres from the previously known site.

Cirkelformen

The Circle

A cross within a circle is often referred to as a “sun wheel” or “sun cross”. These are found on all South-east Scanian rock carvings.

Dansarens Häll

The Dancer

The Rock of the Dancer is famous worldwide and has been widely mentioned in literature published in many languages. With over 1,200 petroglyphs, the 500 square metre quartzite rock is among the largest rock carvings in Scandinavia. The motifs are diverse with a few animals, circles, weapons, spirals, wheel crosses and horsemen, 25 ships, 210 footprints, 700 cup marks and 300 unidentified images.

Foten på Stenshuvud

The Stenshuvud Footprint

A footprint is carved onto the rock at the top of the northern height at Stenshuvud. It is unshod and it only features the toes and the sole of the foot. The toes are facing the island of Bornholm in the south-east. The carving can be seen next to the surveyor’s mark.

Feet and Footprints

The Rock of the Dancer, situated between Järrestad and Gladsax, features a large number of footprints: naked feet with splayed toes and others that appear to be wearing sandals. Some experts believe they symbolise the feet of the Nordic god Njord, whose wife married him because of his beautiful feet. It is sometimes hard to distinguish footprints from wheel crosses.

Hand

The hand

Rock carvings including one or several hands have been found at a number of sites in Sweden, but the only famous hand petroglyph was discovered in South-east Scania in summer 2009 next to the Broby-Johansen site at southern end of Brantevik village.

Ryttare på häst

The Horse

Horses are unusual on South-east Scanian rock carvings. Inside the Kivik tomb, two horses are pulling a cart and the Rock of the Dancer features a beautiful horse placed in connection with a cloak petroglyph, a snake and a ship. The horse has long been assumed to be a mythological creature that pulled the sun across the sky.