Viking Rock Art

Allan Krill's new paradigm for Scandinavian archaeology

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Most Scandinavian petroglyphs are said to predate the Iron Age by hundreds of years. Those interpretations are based on 'shoreline datings', which give only maximum ages. The hypothesis that Scandinavian petroglyphs were produced by early Vikings using iron tools has been avoided by archaeologists, but is being discussed here.     (There are no visitor trackers on these web pages.)

                                                                             Figure from an article by Brd Amundsen (2020) in    


195. 'Inliner' may have used boat nails from Slettnes III to make petroglyphs at Slettnes IV. (5/2024)

194. Inliner's work now recognized on boulders at Slettnes  (5/2024)

193. Stickman (the first) and Outliner (the last) of the great Scandinavian petroglyph artists (12/2023)

Lecture on Stickman and Outliner (first 40 seconds in Norwegian, then 35 minutes in English)

191. Lecture on Stickman and Outliner (20 figures)  (11/2023)

190. Map of 90 petroglyph sites and typology used to identify 7 artists  (10/2023)

181. Red-ochre painting at Tingvoll and at Fngsjn: a fourth rock-art technique used by Outliner

178. Map of 90 sites where petroglyph artists worked, and 3 areas where none are known  (8/2023)

173. Stickman may have made all of the petroglyphs in the stfold-Bohusln area  (8/2023)

172. Why are there no known petroglyph sites in Aust-Agder?  (8/2023)

171. Outliner's large humans at Alta, Bardal, Bla, Evenhus, Forselv, and Lnke  (8/2023)

170. Futhark runes and a swastika independently date the Krstad petroglyphs to about 400 AD

165. Krstad petroglyphs (200-500 AD) show runes and Hjortspring-style boats  (7/2023)

163. Outliner learned to draw longships at my (Stavanger) and then drew them at Apana (Alta)

161. At Bogge, chasing after petroglyph artists (7/2023)

158. Longship and boat petroglyphs at Apana grd Alta (7/2023)

155. Matching images at 9 and 23 meters above sea level at Alta (7/2023)

121 & 154. Lumpers and splitters: I am a lumper, whereas archaeologists have refused to lump (2)

152. Who made the longships of Iron-Age-style at Apana, Alta? (7/2023)

150. Outliner carved outsized petroglyphs on top of previous artworks at Bogge, Bardal, Alta (2)

148. Learn to recognize Outliner's boats (7/2023)

147. "...boat depictions comparable to the South Scandinavian Bronze Age and Iron Age boats"

146. Bergbukten 1 (Alta): two artworks for the price of one (7/2023)

145. Inliner's 'nailpoint' reindeer at Apana grd (8-10 m. above present sea level) (2) (7/2023)

144. The famous petroglyph 'Man on skis' was probably meant to be a man standing in a boat

143. Two 'owners' of reindeer at Bergbukten 4B Alta ('Inliner' and 'Outliner') (7/2023)

142. Animal-head sticks and animal-head boats in Alta petroglyphs (7/2023)

141. Inliner's 'nailpoint' reindeer at Apana grd (8-10 m. above present sea level) (7/2023)

140 & 149 & 153. Map of six petroglyph artists and sites where they worked (3) (7/2023)

139. Amtmann another petroglyph artist that can be recognized at Alta (7/2023)

137 & 138. A few hours' work by Outliner at Kfjord, Alta (2) (7/2023)

136. Outliner carved outsized petroglyphs on top of previous artworks at Bogge, Bardal, Alta

133. Outliner's petroglyphs are easy to recognize, and found only in the north (2) (7/2023)

132. Stykket is an example of 'distressed' art by Outliner (7/2023)

131. Petroglyphs at Leiknes: rock art from one year, or from five hundred years? (2) (7/2023)

130. Petroglyphs at Alta that I ascribe to Outliner and Inliner (tracings in the book by Helskog)

128. Some petroglyph moose at Alta that I ascribe to Outliner and Inliner (7/2023)

126. Some petroglyphs in central Scandianvia that I ascribe to Outliner and Inliner (7/2023)

125. Archaeologists struggle to keep thinking inside Nummedal's faked box (7/2023)

124. Outliner's petroglyphs are easy to recognize, and found only in the north  (7/2023)

123. Outliner drew 'bulging' eyes at Brennholtet and Leiknes, and unique mouth lines  (7/2023)

122. Iron longship nails were ideal for making 'nailpoint' petroglyphs  (7/2023)

120. Photos taken at Tennes (Grberget, Balsfjord) in northern Norway (6/2023)

118. Photos taken at Tennes (Kirkely, Balsfjord) in northern Norway (6/2023)

117. Photos taken at Tennes (Bukkhammaren, Balsfjord) in northern Norway (6/2023)

116. Petroglyphs at Leiknes: rock art from one year, or from five hundred years? (6/2023)

115. No petroglyphs or Viking artifacts have been found in Finland (6/2023)

114. Outliner's nailpoint art at the Ole Pedersen site, Hjemmeluft, Alta (6/2023)

113. Why my manuscripts were rejected by the journals Viking and Primitive Tider (6/2023)

112. Stickman's early showpiece at Leirfall is currently closed to the public (6/2023)

109. Outliner's elegant pose: deer looking backward (6/2023)

108. Close-up photos of Inliner's 'nailpoint art' at the Ole Pedersen site, Hjemmeluft, Alta (6/2023)

106. Map of five petroglyph artists and sites where they worked (6/2023)

103. Outliner 'scraped' his petroglyphs in Nordland (he did not 'polish' them) (6/2023)

102. Ismo Luukkonen shows petroglyphs of 83 Scandinavian sites for you to study at home

101. Outliner's reindeer and moose at Fykanvatnet, near Glomfjord (6/2023)

100. Outliner's scraped moose petroglyph at Mjnes (Vgan) (6/2023)

99. Outliner's reindeer and man at Bla, near Steinkjer (6/2023)

98. Outliner's 'design-signature' at Hell (near Stjrdal) and Forselv (near Narvik) (6/2023)

97. Inliner's 'nailpoint art' at Kfjord, Alta (6/2023)

96. Outliner's 'nailpoint art' in a one-man show at Apanes, Alta (6/2023)

95. No petroglyphs are found in suitable rocks near the shorelines (why not?) (6/2023)

93. Map of three main petroglyph artists (6/2023)

92. It was typical of Outliner to ignore the feet (5/2023)

91. Alta - Kfjord petroglyphs seem to show early Smi culture and early Viking culture (5/2023)

89. Distinguishing between Inliner's work and Outliner's work at Alta (5/2023)

87 & 88. Outliner drew collars on some of his reindeer (2) (5/2023)

86. A boat with a square sail (5/2023)

85. Smi people lived with domesticated reindeer also before Viking times (5/2023)

84. Stickman trained in soft sedimentary rocks in the Stjrdal area (5/2023)

82. Outliner used three different techniques to outline bodies and body parts (5/2023)

81. Three artists made nearly all the petroglyphs around Trondheimsfjorden (5/2023)

80. Runes and petroglyphs at Ystines / Ydstines near Stjrdal (5/2023)

79. Petroglyph artists probably spoke a Scandinavian language (5/2023)

78. Inliner probably traveled to Ekeberg (Oslo) by boat, not by foot (5/2023)

77. Artist's names are not set in stone (5/2023)

76. Digital caliper: a new tool for describing petroglyphs (5/2023)

75. A paradigm for Scandinavian petroglyphs (manuscript to journal Primitive Tider) (3/2023)

66. Shoe prints. Artists often learn or copy from others (2/2023)

64. Names of places where petroglyph artists exhibited their work (2/2023)

62. Five petroglyph artists can be recognized by their motifs and artistic styles (manus. in prep)

61. An alternative interpretation of some petroglyphs in Finnmark (manus to journal Viking)

59. Boats with animal heads among petroglyphs at Peterborough Canada (1/2023)

56. Vikings visited many coasts and rivers in their longships (1/2023)

55. Petroglyphs in Peterborough Canada, probably made by a Viking artist (1/2023)

53. "Shoreline dates" are not really dates at all. Better to call them "Shore maximum ages"  (12/202)

52. Hard rocks can't be engraved using sharp stone-age tools. Most Scandinavian rocks are hard.

51. A simple explanation for petroglyph cup marks  (12/2022)

45-49. 'Iron-age Banskys': how widely did they spread their wall-art? (5)  (11/2022)

44. Most petroglyphs were made within sight and shouting distance of the shoreline  (11/2022)

43. Petroglyph shoreline dates should be referred to as shore-limiting dates  (11/2022)

42. Lichen grows on all exposed rocks in Norway  (11/2022)

39. Shoreline dating improperly used to date Vyg whale hunting  (11/2022)

38. Petroglyph evidence for cultural exchange between Vikings and Smi  (11/2022)

36. Nmforsen petroglyphs supposedly show a 4000-year spread of carvings  (7/2023)

34. Petroglyph artists (300-800 AD) were Scandinavian and did not visit Finland  (11/2022)

33. What does this strange petroglyph really show?  (11/2022)

32. Spoiler alert: my musings kill good stories and eliminate fun puzzles  (11/2022)

31. Arctic summer hunting trips, destination Alta  (11/2022)

30. The Gamnes petroglyph and knapped-flint site can be no older than 1700 years  (11/2022)

29. See how flint arrowheads are knapped (Youtube)  (11/2022)

27. Newly discovered petroglyphs at 26 m show shoreline-dating gives us falsely old ages

26. Grahame Clark (1975): The Earlier Stone Age Settlement of Scandinavia  (11/2022)

24. How 'shoreline dating' has been used for Alta petroglyphs  (11/2022)

21. A petroglyph of a longship with an animal-head prow nails its age  (11/2022)

20. Biases maximize the age and archaeological value of Leirfall petroglyphs  (11/2022)

19. The Professor's Old Claims  (12/2022)

17. A Viking-age neck ring (torc) brought to Alta and abandoned there  (11/2022)

16. Why Alta petroglyphs do not include women and children  (11/2022)

15. "Here's our stuff. Ready to use again this summer!"  (11/2022)

14. 30 rowers (15 pairs) in a longship in Alta  (11/2022)

13. Ships with an animal-head prow, manned by long-distance rowers  (10/2022)

12. The Kvalsund ship from 780 AD resembles an Alta petroglyph  (10/2022)

11. The Hjortspring boat (350 BC) had a crew of 20 rowers. It was built without nails  (10/2022)

10. Alta petroglyph boats. Myth vs. reality  (10/2022)

9. Could Alta boats really have been made before iron nails were available?  (10/2022)

8. The words "Viking" and "Iron" are taboo in archaeology publications  (10/2022)

7. Lden (2015) on the experimental production of petroglyph images using a stone tool

6. The petroglyph artist at Storsteinen had no "sketchbook", only one "page" to draw on

5. Deep narrow engravings could not have been made before metal chisels were available

4. Brd Amundsen's article on the Viking-like culture that is said to be over 3000 years old

3. Jan Magne Gjerde (2010) Rock art and landscapes  (10/2022)

2. Alta rock art is probably Viking rock art  (10/2022)

1. Boat petroglyphs at Alta, Norway, (photos at  (10/2022)


Allan Krill