Pennefeltet consists of approximately 3000 year old rockcarvings of ships as well as pan depressions, foot imprints and remains of old house sites from the time of the Great Migration. There are traces of stone age settlements, burial fields, and farmsteads from the Iron Age as well as stone fences from older and newer times. Below the field to the west, are the newly restored farm buildings at Penne that were built according to local building traditions, with the farm house and the outbuildings connected to each other in a row.
The rock carvings on Jaerberget
The rock carvings on Jaerberget are from the Bronze Age (1800-500 B.C.), thereby giving evidence of human presence 2000 years earlier than the other archaeological remains on Penne. You will find 17 complete and 8 incomplete ships, several pair feet and 70 cupmarks. On top of the rock there is a foot that points towards the place in the horizon where the sun goes down during Midsummer Night. The rock carvings were also originally painted red. Two ships on the North West side of the rock have not been painted – see if you can find them.
During the turn of the Century young people from Penne celebrated Midsummer Night by burning a bonfire on Jaerberget. Maybe there is a connection between our celebration and the things that happened here 3000 years ago?
Why rock carvings?
The most common motifs on rock carving sites are ships, feet, sunwheels cupmarks and human beings. Rock carvings are known from all of Scandinavia. The people that created these pictures were farmers. Their lives depended on fertility and the sun moving across the sky. We do not know why the rock carvings were made, or what meaning they had. Maybe the rock carvings are fertility Symbols – made to ensure the productivity of the land and of the people, or maybe they illustrate the mythological world of the Bronze Age.
Prehistoric Graves at Sausebakk
The most powerful women and men were revered by being buried in mounds like those you see before you. The dead were placed in their graves dressed in all their finery, including jewellery and personal belongings. It was important that the burial mounds could be seen, and they were therefore placed so that they could be seen from afar. Stone monuments were often put up in order to further point out the spot. The burial-mounds and stone monuments were also important landmarks for sailors along the coast. These ancient monuments may date back as far as the Bronze and the Iron Ages (1800 B.C. -100 A.D.).
The bunkers and the firing positions are part of the defence. „Atlanterhavsvollen“ was built by the Germans during World War II. The road that you followed through the woods to Sausebakk is one of the oldest road constructions at Lista. This road may have been constructed by the people who made the burial mounds.
The Iron Age Farm
To the left you will find one of the housegrounds from the occupation dated to the Migration Period. Low walls of soil and stones represent the walls of the house, and in the raiddle of the room a large stone indicate where the fireplace used to be.
The house consisted of two rooms. one for the people and one for the livestock. The walls were built of stones and soil. The inside of the walls were covered with braided twigs and clay. The turfed roof was held by two rows of posts inside the house.
Life on the farm
The Iron Age Farm consisted of one or more houses, fields, grazingland and hayfields, as well as gravemounds, the homefields were confined by a fence.
The method of cultivation was less efficient than today the soil being turned with a wooden spade or with a primitive plough. The stones had to be removed into heaps along the edges of the fields, only the largest stones were left in the fields. On Penne there are approximately 150 such heaps. Sheep, cows and cultivation of cereal are the most common element of Iron Age farming. Hunting and fishing were additional and stable food supliers.
The people on Penne produced most of what they needed themselves. A few luxury goods like jewelry and weapons were obtained in exchange for local goods. Such things were aquired from specialized travelling tradesmen or imported from northern Europe by Chiefs trading abroad.
Source: Informationboard on site