Ausevik Rock Art: Real And Mythical World Of Stone Age People Of Norway

The Ausevik rock art site at Høydalsfjorden, in Sunnfjord, in Western Norway, contains more than 300 rock carvings of different shapes, of which many are dated to 4000 BC.

Ausevik – the second largest rock art site in Norway – represents an outstanding cultural heritage of this country and the whole Scandinavia.

The carvings, enriched with characteristic internal decoration, and several complex abstract engravings, cover an area of more than 1,500 square meters; however, there may be rock art, which is still hidden under moss and lichen.

There are depictions of dogs (probably hunting companions), a bird, a fish but the most of rock space is devoted to red deer, because in Stone Age society was occupied with hunting.

Ausevik carvings are located an area of elevated terrain, in majestic landscape, which mirrors itself in lakes.

It is indeed not difficult to imagine that Stone Age people saw this as a highly suitable space for their expressions by creating images in the rock, acting as the messages to the gods, the outside world and perhaps even for future generations.

Magical symbols for the hunt, spirals, geometric shapes and mazes, mixed with ritual signs, all make the site very special and particularly interesting.

Today, it is not easy for us today to understand what Stone Age humans would expresses with the images they carved into the rock.

The enigma of the Ausevik rock art lies first of all, in the combination of diverse motif, these ancient artists created. The site was in use for a very long time and certainly underwent a variety of influences; it developed and changed.

The choice of motifs is both unusual and varied, consisting of animal and human figures of the type clearly associated with prehistoric hunters’ rock art, but there are also a great number of abstract and geometrical figures, cup-marks and spirals, which seldom occur in rock art left by hunters.

There are many different interpretations of Ausevik carvings but it does not mean we have solved the enigmatic messages at the rock site of Ausevik.

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