THE ROCK OF THE DANCER BETWEEN JÄRRESTAD AND GLADSAX

The Rock of the Dancer is famous all over the world, it is mentioned in scientific literature in countless languages. With around 1,200 images, the 500-square- metre quartzite rock slab is one of the largest rock carving sites in Scandinavia.

There is a great variation of motifs here. A small number of animals, circles, weapons, spirals, wheel crosses and horsemen are found among the 25 ships, 210 feet, 700 cup marks and 300 images that have not yet been deciphered. The feet are naked or shod, and there are many different interpretations. Some say that they symbolize gods that manifest their presence, others that the footprints were aids to the dead as they passed to the next life. Others believe they were made by community leaders. The Dancer is found on the southern perimeter of the rock. The human figure appears to dance across the stone, but no one knows what it signifies. Maybe it is a shaman, or even the god himself. It may also be a visitor that has made a big enough impression to be depicted on the rock. Ships are the most common motif on Scandinavian rock carvings. They are often very similar, but there are three here that stand out. They are fitted with a superstructure that may be a sail or a support for a ceremonial sun symbol. No remains of sails from the Bronze Age have been found, which is not to say they did not exist. Different kinds of sun symbol supports are present on rock carvings throughout Scandinavia as well as in the form of bronze miniatures.