The Ship and the Sun.
The greatest symbols of the Bronze Age

In southern Scandinavia there are thousands of rock-carved ship and sun symbols from the Bronze Age. In the same area there are hundreds of ship-formed stoneformations from the same time.

On various utility, cult and ornament objects from the Bronze Age you can identify the signs of the ship and the sun in large numbers. Evidence of an ancient Nordic suncult appears, which might be modelled from the ancient civilized peoples in the eastern Mediterranean area. The cosmic sunship had a central religious importance in this area. ”The sun ship” is well-known from Egyptian mythology. In this ship the sun-god Ra sailed every day from east to west with the beams of the sun.

It is not hard to imagine that the sun-god of the southern Scandinavians of the Bronze Age was also believed to make this journey day after day and year after year. With this mythological sunship and the solar orbit in mind, the use of the ship formation at Ales stenar must have been logical to its constructors.

Most ancient civilized peoples had skilled astronomers and mathematical time keepers who carefully observed and/or documented the cyclical movements of the celestial bodies. Most famous are the astronomers of the Babylonians, the Egyptians and the mayans. It is hard to believe that the people who constructed Ales stenar about 2,700 years ago would have comprehended the celestial phenomenons differently than the previous mentioned peoples. One should also keep in mind that the symbol-mythological sunship and knowledge of the sun calendar had been established in the peoples of the eastern Mediterannean area for several thousand years. Gold and raw material like tin and copper and different decorations were imported to Scandinavia from that area and because of this the people in southern Scandinavia became some of the most skilful bronze-craftsmen.

There are thus several important denominators to why Ales stenar was built on such a carefully chosen site between heaven, land 180º and sea 180º.  The result can still be checked BY ALL PEOPLE: A gigantic symbolship, sundial and calendar whose original ancient Nordic name Als = sanctuary distinctly links together the terms. In the great poem of Nordic mythology the Edda ”the over the world shining” sun-god Heimdall is described as ”the perpetual guardian of time and sanctuaries (Als)”. Heimdall’s by-name was ”the leaning pillar towards the north” the imagined world pillar which stretched from the underground, the earth and to the Polar Star where it kept together the celestial dome.

The sunship could hardly be honoured with a more suitable name than Als.

© BG Lind