Bornholm (Danemark): 5,000-year-old map unearthed

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Vas682 undersidesmalMore and more Stone Age maps are turning up on Bornholm (photo: National Museum)

A mysterious stone found in a ditch on Bornholm by archaeology students during the summer has proven to be a 5,000 years old map.

According to the magazine Skalk, the stone was discovered during  archaeological excavation work at the Neolithic shrine Vasagård.

The stone has been studied by researchers at the National Museum of Denmark. Unlike previous and similar findings, archaeologist and senior researcher at the National Museum, Flemming Kaul, is reasonably certain that the stone does not show the sun and the sun’s rays, but displays the topographic details of a piece of nature on the island as it appeared between the years 2700 and 2900 BC.

Ritual stones
Kaul called the stone “without parallel”. In recent years, excavations at Vasagård have turned up several stones inscribed with rectangular patterns filled with different rows of lines and shading.

Some of the lines may be reproductions of ears of corn or plants with leaves,” said Kaul.

These are not accidental scratches,” said Kaul. “We see the stones as types of maps showing different kinds of fields.”

The recent find was not complete. It is made up of two pieces and one piece is still missing. Archaeologists believe the stones were used in Stone Age rituals.