Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Norway’s secret petroglyphs

It looked to be a routine excavation of what was thought to be a burial mound. But beneath the mound, archaeologists from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Museum of Natural History and Archaeology found something more: unusual Bronze Age petroglyphs. 

“We believe these are very special in a Norwegian context,” says museum researcher and project manager Anne Haug.

The excavation in Stjørdal, just north of Trondheim, was necessitated by the expansion of a gravel pit. Initially the project archaeologists anticipated that the dig would be uncomplicated, and museum researchers allowed just three weeks for completion of the works.

Petroglyphs under a cremation site

Then came the surprises. Firstly, the mound builders had used an existing hill as a starting point – which of course saved them time and effort. The hill made the burial mound appear even larger and more monumental than it might have otherwise been.

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