THE STENKIL ROCK CARVING

The Stenkil Rock Carving was the first Southeast Scanian carving to be discovered in the open. It is situated in an area of pastureland between Simrishamn and Brantevik, west of the Rock of the Axes.

The Stenkil Rock Carving consists of 65 images and over 100 cup marks, and there is a great variation of ships, men carrying axes, horses and wheel crosses. This site reveals some information about Bronze Age ritual. On the easternmost perimeter of the rock, right next to the adjoining field, are three axe-bearing men, two of which are approached by the third. They are severely eroded and hard to distinguish, but it is well worth a try, because they are truly magnificent. The axes are of the same type as the large ceremonial Bronze Age axe found at Borrby. On the southern perimeter is a large ship with horse head sterns. It appears on its own and seems to be sailing in from the marsh a few hundred metres further south. Marshes and peat bogs are nearly always present near rock carvings. They were probably of great importance for the choice of site. Sacrifices made in the marshes were a way of communicating with the gods. Bornholm is visible in the distance, and this may have been yet another reason for the choice of location. Unfortunately, the rock is hard to keep clear of moss and lichen, so it is included in a conservation programme. For a clearer view of the carvings you should go to the site after dark and direct the beam of a large torch from the side towards the motif.