Discovering First Depiction of a Boat
Published on October 10th, 2017
A discovery this past summer is believed to be the world’s oldest depiction of a vessel. Estimated to be between 10,000 and 11,000 years old, the rock carving showing a boat was found at Valle by the Efjord in Nordland County, Northern Norway.
Retired geologist Ingvar Lindahl at the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU) stumbled across the rock carving and reported the discovery that is described as unique.
“We do believe this probably is the world’s oldest depiction of a boat,” says archaeologist Jan Magne Gjerde from the University of Tromsø to Norwegian Broadcasting Cooperation, NRK. “It is quite unique that it is found now, but it also shows that there may be something new where rock carvings have been found earlier.”
The rock carving was found 230 feet above sea level and it is about 13 feet long, but the back is weathered so it is likely that it was about 14 feet in full size. It is carved into the mountain with a one inch wide line.
In 1932, geologists discovered very well preserved rock carvings of seal, harbour porpoise, and bear at the Efjord. However, the boat is by far the most sensational finding.
It can be dated to between 10,000 and 11,000 years old (9000 – 8000 BC) because the sea level has changed dramatically since the Stone Age due to land raise. Gjerde notes how the boat reminds of a leather boat from another finding in Greenland.
The finding is put in perspective when it is known that this type of vessel probably was used on the waters off Nordland about 9000 years before the first Viking ship crossed the sea heading for the British Isles.