Newly-Discovered Swedish Petroglyphs Weren't Easy to Make

The coastal region of Sweden known as Bohuslän is known for its ancient petroglyphs. In early May, a series of 40 petroglyphs that hadn't been seen in hundreds of years was discovered on a rock face in Bohuslän. A team of archaeologists had to stand on a platform to remove moss and reveal them. The carvings are estimated to be around 2,700 years old.

What's remarkable about these petroglyphs is their location. This particular sheer face was on an island 2,700 years ago, and there are no footholds in the rock, which means that whoever made them either had to do it from a boat, or stand on a platform built on the winter ice. The biggest petroglyph depicts a ship 13 feet long, while many are only 12 to 16 inches wide. Scientists say they were made by banging rocks on the cliff face, which chipped away the dark outer layer and revealed a lighter material just below the surface.

No one knows the meaning of the images, although they might tell a story, or mark territory. The big question is what made them so important that people went through such trouble to place them where they are. Read more about the new discovery at LiveScience.

(Image credit: Foundation for Documentation of Bohuslän’s Rock Carvings)

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