Simrislundsristningen (Simrislund Carvings) – Simrishamn, Sweden - Atlas Obscura

Simrislundsristningen (Simrislund Carvings)

These Bronze Age rock carvings are among the oldest in the region.  


One of the more prominent ties to the ancient world found throughout Sweden are rock carvings, most notably rune stones. However, most are relatively young with the oldest dating to the 11th-century. Older carvings attributed to the Bronze Age are found in the southern regions of the country. The carvings found in eastern Skane are among the oldest in the country.

Not much is known about the people who created these carvings, as there is little remaining regarding their existence outside the carvings and burial mounds. The rock contains depictions of 50 axes, 45 ships, several animals including a horse, and men with phalluses bearing axes. Additionally, there are several geometrical figures and cup marks on the stone. 

Bronze axes were used for ceremonial purposes, several of which have been discovered in the region. Some scholars believe that one of the geometrical figures represents the sun and Bronze Age mythology. The ships carved onto the rock are thought to represent the loading and unloading of goods with help from the animals depicted.

The Simrislund carvings are also known as the “Rock of Axes” and is one of the most accessible rock carving locations in the region.  

Know Before You Go

The stone is easy to find if you follow google maps, there is a second stone with carvings not far from this one. Accessible 24/7.

Please do respect the site, parts of it have been vandalized by people adding their own carvings to the rock, or worse they try to make the old carvings stand out more by recarving them. The government has threatened to bury the site to protect it if more such cases arise. 

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