Digital rock carvings -
Rock carvings at Nämforsen

One of the biggest preserved rock carving sites in Northern Europe can be found at Nämforsen in the municipality of Sollefteå. There are more than 3400 documented rock carvings here, the oldest of which are estimated to be more than 6000 years old.

The rock carvings at Nämforsen include figures depicting elk, people, boats, fish, bears, weapons and other objects. As part of the "Digital rock carvings" project, HUMlab has been working with archaeologists and environmental archaeologists from Umeå University to digitise many of these carvings, and also combined them with other archaeological data recorded at the site.

Archaeologist Gustaf Hallström documented many of the rock carvings at Nämforsen in the 1930s and 1940s. His collective works, "Monumental Art of Northern Sweden" (1960), is an extensive document, with thorough descriptions and a large number of illustrations. Data in the database Rock carvings at Nämforsen is based on Hallström's list, but also includes more than 900 new finds.

rock carvingsEveryone has the opportunity to examine the unique cultural heritage at Nämforsen using the open and readily accessible database Rock carvings at Nämforsen (http://rockart.humlab.umu.se/). It is possible in this database to filter searches by motif, properties, altitude or the sea, or just by clicking on a map and then examining which rock carvings exist and where they are located in relation to one another.

Work on digitising the Nämforsen rock carvings began in 2001 and has continued in various forms until 2013. Projects involved have been financed by organisations such as Riksbankens Jubileumsfond and the Västernorrland county administrative board.

Contact person at HUMlab: Fredrik Palm - fredrik.palm@humlab.umu.se