In Austre Åmøy, specifically at the Meling farm, you can find the largest concentration of rock carvings in Rogaland. There are several fields in the area, with both large and small rock carvings. The largest petroglyph fields are prepared and signposted to the public, while the smaller fields are not accessible to visitors.
On sloping rocks lies artwork carved by human hand 2000-3000 years ago. In Austre Åmøy there are around 1000 figures registered over a distance of about 1 km, divided into 10 fields. The petroglyphs were created in the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age. The carvings show a cult where the sun was an animating factor. People from Rogaland carved ships, sun symbols, human figures and many other designs.
The ships appear in several variations and none of the ships carvings are exactly alike. The ship was an important religious symbol throughout the Bronze Age, interpreted as the symbol of all that was holy and full of power, while it was a means of transportation to the sun and the divine in all spheres.
When you walk around and look at the carvings, you have to show respect for them. You must not go on top of the rocks with the petroglyph figures, and you have to let the characters and the area around them lie untouched. Remember that it is an offense to damage the petroglyphs, and be aware that the entire area with petroglyphs is protected under the Heritage Act.
Together with the Cultural Heritage, the Archaeological Museum has made a movie with rock carvings at Åmøy as a theme. The idea is that the film will serve as a virtual guide on- site. Download the video from the link below on your iPod, take the guide in your pocket - and discover petroglyphs with a virtual guide!