Tumlehed rock painting

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The Tumlehed rock painting, 2009.

The Tumlehed rock painting is a prehistoric rock art pictograph site, located in Tumlehed on the island of Hisingen, Gothenburg Municipality. It is the southernmost recorded rock painting in Sweden and one of few found in the western parts of the country, joined by a few additional ones in the same province. Situated on a steep cliff face, covering about 2 x 2 meters, it depicts a number of figures, among them four ships, four fishes, a large deer, wave-like patterns, and some undetermined shapes. The painting was made with a mixture of red ochre and a binder which through bonding with the rock has survived the years. At the time of its making it would have been located on an island's shore, rather than on the slope of a hill as today.

Remaining undiscovered until 1974, its exact period of creation remains unknown. Most archaeologists hold it to be from the mesolithic era, based on among other factors the possible hunter-gatherer symbolism, location in regards to historical sea levels, and neighbouring sites dating from that period. Its discovery contributed to shifting the academic understanding of the Scandinavian rock paintings, which previously had been found primarily in Norway, Finland, and northern Sweden. A minor excavation was carried out in 1985 of the area next to the painting, but no significant finds were made.

See also[edit]


  • Official register (RAÄ-nummer Torslanda 216:1) at the Swedish National Heritage Board (in Swedish).
  • Andersson, Stina (2005). "Äldre stenålder. Jägare och fiskare". In Andersson, Stina; Ragnesten, Ulf (eds.). Fångstfolk och bönder: om forntiden i Göteborg (in Swedish). Värnamo: Fälth och Hässler. p. 67. ISBN 91-85488-84-4.
  • Gustafsson, Anders; Karlsson, Håkan (2001). "Presentation av fornlämningar". Med kollektivtrafiken till förhistorien (in Swedish). Gothenburg: Bricoleur Press. pp. 93–97. ISBN 91-973713-4-3.