Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – The 4,000 year old story by Annika Perry

Welcome to a new contributor to the archive series, Annika Perry with a post about a visit to the Vitlycke Rock Carvings in Sweden where 4000 year old images adorn the rock faces offering a glimpse into an ancient culture.

The purpose of this series is to encourage you to head over and follow Annika’s blog and check out her more recent posts.. I hope you will do so.

The 4,000 year old story by Annika Perry

Hasn’t mankind always had a desire to tell a story? To tell their story?

The thought struck me as early one Friday morning during Easter as my son and I visited Vitlycke Rock Carvings in Sweden. It’s not often you have a World Heritage Site all to yourselves and in quiet reverence we strolled amongst the 4,000-year-old rock carvings.

As if bleary from sleep, the sun hung low in the sky, its light dancing between the trees, the dew on the grass shimmering in sparkles of delight. Slowly we approached the biggest rock panel which alone bears over 500 images.

The creative force of the images struck me first. They were full of passion; with brute strength telling the story of their lives. Of gods, hunting, fishing, ships. Of people and animals. Of men and women. Of war and battle. The artistic images rendered vibrant and more visible by the red coloured paint.

In the silence, we felt we had stumbled upon a sacred site, the atmosphere spiritually ladened. The vivacious animated figures were ready for action and seemingly about to leave their two-dimensional existence and enter the realm of 3-D. I imagined a flotilla of boats sailing away across the seas.

On my first visit many years ago the ship images had bemused me as from the hill the sea was not visible, being miles away. However, a plaque quickly explained that in the Bronze Age the water level was 15 m higher. Below us, where the car was parked, where the visitors centre was built, would all have been under water.

One particular image of a man is over 2 m long and is the largest petroglyph in the area. Is it a portrait of a local chieftain I wondered? I read the plaque which states this is an image of the god Odin.

With determination and care the people of the Bronze Age wanted to leave their mark – literally! They wanted to leave us their story for future generations. These petroglyphs are a testament to their success, to the power of their story.

Certain images are still enigmas, argued over by university scholars and school pupils. That is the joy of them as well. What is the meaning of the 30,000 or so ‘cup’ marks visible across the county? One set here has a line of them, reaching down and then ceasing in a circle of ‘cup’ marks. Is it fertility symbols, as declared by scholars? Or at times I like to imagine a group of children, not yet capable of drawing the more detailed images, ‘doodling’ on the rocks.

The magical mystical morning ends with a quiet picnic of contemplation overlooking some of the rock carvings. The people from the Bronze Age beat their story into solid granite, stories which survived four millenniums. Will our forms of story telling live on into eternity?

Wishing you all a lovely day; may the sun shine brightly and breeze blow gently.

After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” Philip Pullman

©Images Annika Perry. 2015

Thanks to Annika for this wonderful contribution. It looks like we may never understand the symbols completely but as prompts for the imaginations of children and scholars alike, it is amazing.

About Annika Perry

Although writing has always been a lifetime passion for Annika, her route to full-time writing has been circuitous and she formerly worked within journalism and the timber trade before severe illness and motherhood gave her an opportunity to pursue her dream.

Annika’s First Prize win in the ‘Writing Magazine’ short story competition was the much needed impetus and confidence booster for her to complete the first novel, ‘Island Girl’, which is currently in the final editing stages. Annika is also working on the last edits of her first short story collection which she hopes to publish this year.

As well as writing, Annika is an avid reader (a world without books is unimaginable for her), a keen gardener, walker and she enjoys travel (in spite of her well-documented fear of flying!)

For the past two years blogging has become an important part of her life and she deeply values the friendships formed here on WP via the warm encouraging and uplifting comments. She lives in the South East of England with her husband and teenage son.

Connect to Annika


I am now looking for archive posts for the festive season.. short stories fiction and non-fiction, food and recipes, humour, memorable Christmas’s etc.  Please send one or two posts to I will be resuming the regular archive series in the New Year.  Thanks Sally.

113 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – The 4,000 year old story by Annika Perry

  1. Pingback: The 4,000 year old story by Annika Perry – The Militant Negro™

  2. I love petroglyphs, Annika, and these are so beautiful and well-preserved for 4000 years old! I can feel how majestic they are in your description and the way the history came to life. Wonderful share from the archives. Thanks for bringing this post to light, Sally. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Wow, this was so interesting Annika. So amazing that the people of that era had their own way of communicating and could leave behind markings for us to read 4000 years later! And granite? Wow, I’d say that was some expensive writing pad, lol. Great to see you here Annika! ❤ xx
    And Sal, I'll check out my archives for something seasonal to contribute. ❤ Hugs xx

    Liked by 5 people

  4. Sally, thank you so much for the opportunity to take part in your archive series – I feel very honoured! 😀❤️ Thank you also for your lovely comment..these rock carvings are wonderful sources for creative inspiration and every time I visit them there are huge crowds of children studying them, drawing, recreating. Awe-inspiring that 4,000 later these images still carry a message…whatever we decide that to be! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thank you Sally for posting Annika’s post about the 4000 year old story. It is magic to see and walk among work by people from so long ago. Talk about ancestors.😊 . It is also a wonder how patient and passionate they were in making sure their story was told. Granite does not crumble easy.
    So Annika, a wonderful post showing creativity and Sally, beautiful idea to showcase your friends.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I would so love to visit this place. Where exactly in Sweden is this? The rock carvings look so well preserved. We have some in Alberta, Canada as well, created by the First Nations people. I have always been fascinated by petroglyphs and the stories they tell. It proves we are by nature, storytellers and we want future generations to remember us through our stories. A wonderful post from your archives, Annika.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Oh my goodness, the world is full of amazing sites like this. I’d love to see each one of them, but since that isn’t physically possible, this post and pictures took me there. Thanks, Sally and Annika.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. My thought, as I read this great post, was to wonder what WE are leaving behind for generations to come — and if the technology to READ what we leave behind will still be available, due to the relentless march of “replacement” offerings (i.e., obsolescence and lack of backward compatibility). Food for though . . . thanks.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    Liked by 2 people

  9. A beautiful and awe-inspiring post, Annika. Petroglyphs and cultural ruins always catapult me to an undefinable place within. Sometimes I can actually feel a tool in my hand or smell the scent of wood burning in an open-pit fire. What an extraordinary experience for you and your son to share. Thank you for, in turn, sharing it with us ❤

    Liked by 3 people

    • Wow! Tina, heartfelt thanks for your wonderful comment…these places hold a special aura in them and I can identify with your feelings … eerie but is it surprising after all? I have felt as we’re being watched almost and I’m always surprised by the quiet awe and respect shown by the visitors. It was a most special visit and doubly so as sharing it with my son who in turn was so taken with the carvings and we examined them in detail, discussing, theorising…precious day. Hugs xx

      Liked by 3 people

      • Welcome, Annika. You gave your son a priceless gift I’m sure he will remember throughout his life. Perhaps, someday, when your hair is grey and you’re rocking in your chair in front of the hearth, he’ll recall it for you ❤

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Reblogged this on Annika Perry's Writing Blog and commented:
    When Sally asked us to take a look at our archived posts and find some to share I just couldn’t resist volunteering. My blog is soon three years old and with the usual rush of life I’ve barely looked backwards at my older post. Would I squirm in embarrassment? Would they still be interesting?

    What struck me first was that, wow, three years doesn’t seem THAT long ago and I remember writing most of them, the research needed, the places visited and the photos I took.

    Today’s trip down memory lane extends well-beyond the three years of my blog, back to storytelling time four thousand years ago. Enjoy!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve always been fascinated by the art left behind by ancient people. You describe the Swedish Vitlycke Rock Carvings with appropriate reverence and curiosity. Thank you for photos to accompany the article, providing a view of these charming works.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. This looks such an interesting place to visit. You are really inspiring me to visit Sweden. I mention carvings on rocks in my novel that communicate from the past but I didn’t know about these ancient markings. Thanks Annika and Sally for this knowledge.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Sally and Annika! I can hardly believe these ancient markings are 4000 years old. I think you are right, Annika, the desire to tell a story and have it preserved over time is a very human need. And even though these pictures are simple, they represent well-thought-out ideas. The color red is so vibrant! Have the drawings/carvings been restored? Thanks for sharing this piece of storytelling history! Happy reading and writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Pingback: The 4,000 year old story by Annika Perry – reblogged from Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life | Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

  15. What a unique post to share Annika, a real gem! These carvings are indeed fascinating and they don’t seem to be as old as 4000 years. Don’t they reveal the basic nature of mankind? Emotions and behavior of those who strived to a make a mark and leave their signs behind is so similar to modern man. Some of the petroglyphs are so creative and powerful that they could be construed in various ways. I am glad you visited this World Heritage Site and took us along in this pictorial form. Many thanks for sharing this post from your archives. I wonder how many more gems are hidden there. 🙂
    Thanks to you too Sally for being so supportive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Balroop, thank you for your wonderful reflective comment…in a few words, you encapsulate the whole experience of these rock carvings, from the historical to the spiritual and emotional link between our far-distant ancestors and ourselves.

      The artistic nature of man never seems far away and finds a means and way of expressing itself. It’s interesting you mention the interpretation of these images – I also believe they can be construed in many various ways and have to smile at the accompanying plaques explaining the carvings in no uncertain terms. Often they don’t admit its pure conjecture and they create whole lifestyle etc expositions…which might be true or maybe not. It is indeed a gem of a place to visit and I’ve seen many smaller similar sites nearby but would love to see other rock carvings/drawings around the world!

      Yes, many thanks to Sally indeed – she works tirelessly for us all and I just saw how many followers her blog has – over 30,000 – phenomenal!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. That is fascinating, Annika. The U.S. is such a young country, there are few places with such historical markers.
    With the stories from history, no matter how detailed or obscure, we’ll never really know every truth about how it was to live in another time.
    Thanks for breaking this out of the archives. Have a nice weekend.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Annika… Wow. I can’t believe how well-preserved these are. And what joy that you had the place to yourselves to really soak up the “feel” of the place. These are incredible. What an amazing experience. ❤ Thanks for sharing, Sally.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Great post, Annika! These drawings are amazing, and they’ve been there for 4,000 years! I find petroglyphs so interesting, because for me, they lead me to wonder what the artist was really saying, since archeologists can only guess (I wonder how correct they are 🙂 ).

    Liked by 2 people

    • Julie, you must have read my mind! 😀 Some of the comments and suggestions by the archeologist are stretched to say the least… a single line could be just that…a line of something started and not finished and instead they create a whole new myth about it. Still, this only serves to highlight some of the desperate and ludicrous attempts to rationalise something that is 4,000 years old…it a wonder to walk amongst them all, discussing, admiring, being inspired! Wishing you a great weekend, Julie and hope all is going well with your writing…off to check your post soon. xx

      Liked by 2 people

  19. Pingback: Smorgasbord Round Weekly Round Up – Constantine, Aubergines and Glass Blowing. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

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