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We invite you to join us for Norwegian sketch of. The program with music and commentary produced from materials provided by the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Heard on this program will be like musical selections and a documentary on agriculture and prayed in the early Norway. Or. To open a liberation Mark composed in 1945 by Robert Leavitt called the cure can as much the Norwegian broadcasting orchestra as conducted by or even Tibet. Yes.
I have. To go. To get. The Cure going is March by Robert Levin has performed by the Norwegian broadcasting
orchestra up next from radio Norway a programme about agriculture and trade during the Norwegian bronze age. The opening music is made by a pair of Brahms Luers instruments from this period. Oh. Well. In our last program we visited the mystic cave a stone age dwelling which was inhabited on and off for over three thousand years. Among the relics from the latest habitation period we can see the first beginnings of an agriculture in Norway. The cave hunting station was visited by farmers bringing with them a supply of meat from their domestic animals as travelling
provisions. In this program we shall see how agriculture and trade became predominant factors and changed the very foundations of daily life. There is one point though which I would particularly ask you to bear in mind when we go out now on assets for the origins of farming in Norway. There was never a sudden change from hunting to farming. Farming was introduced gradually into the hunter man's life and it was carried on parallel with the more traditional occupations. Only very slowly the weight shifted from the one to the other. This combination of farming with some other occupation has always been characteristic for Norway and is even today. And that's real consequences of a harsh climate and a mountainous land which never made a farm as out come very plentiful. But let us travel now to the district of West fall in south east and even today. This is an important farming area and to just fall we must
journey to find some of the finest relics from the earliest farming culture in Norway. And here we are standing in the center of one of the oldest farming district of Norway in front of us is a bay of the fjord. The landscape slopes likely upwards on the roadsides fields. Even today this is a farming district and behind us the mountainside rises up with us here is curator in your house and we are standing now actually. On. Archaeological site. Daschle because I'm putting all the trace to what it was they had restored just a few more years for the studio and we didn't anybody get hurt in the least.
In fact we're standing on one of the richest archaeological sites for no reason prehistoric past namely upon us fold. We have here a large burial ground about one kilometer long and half a kilometer Braun about 150 separate gravesites in the time around the top the birth of Christ and up to the Viking period. Agriculture has always been very much the center of things. Yeah it has indeed. As you can see for yourself if you look around the landscape we are in fact now standing on one of the oldest plow fields which have been found in Norway. When we excavated the ground mound on which we are now standing we found first the remnants of a stone age running ground and under that again this plowed field or rather the tree still follows in the ground made by primitive wooden plough. The Stone Age house helped us to date the plough photos since the house were clearly build over the filled the four rows must be owned. These fires can they tell us anything about the farming methods of those bygone days.
Well you see these photos were seen as a network of dark lines in a lighter sand. The man who once went here plowing his use a narrow pointed wooden plow odd which has cut its way through a dark fertile soil and down into the sandy ground underneath leaving traces of the darkest soil in the sand so we can say so to speak walking the ploughman's footsteps. But mind you we must take great care to stop our doing exactly the right level one more careless little shark and the whole shall we say in charm and to go on talking about the origins of farming in no way does one think that farming was said to say imported with foreign invaders. Or was it gradually discovered and introduced by the people living here. This is a known and still open problem in Denmark and southern Sweden. There is much to be said for the theory that farming was brought into the land by foreign immigrants in this country the finds are not so numerous or so varied that we can form a reasoned opinion on them. Whether farming came as a wondrous new learning which has made its
way northwards or it was brought to us by foreign people we do not know what is certain though is that we have this change about four thousand five hundred years ago. Before that time people had been forced to move always from one district to the next. Now they learn to tame nature's own rhythm between sowing time and harvest time. They learn to farm the land so that the soil could yield its most and that can be no doubt I suppose that farming brought a great change into the life of the people with farming came a change in shall we say. Structure. Not only did people settle permanently in one place but their everyday life changed fundamentally and none the less their way of thinking. For the first time the idea of ownership to land comes into the picture. And then there are the new gods the gods connected with certainty. We are standing now on one of the places which can tell us something about the earliest farming culture in Norway have we. Other relics from that time.
Anything else that can tell us something about the life of the fest from INR way. Yes we have of course a number of lines long axes used to cut down trees and clear land and other tools and implements. But first and foremost we have number a number of wonderful pictures pictures which show us the farmer himself and his environment. I'm thinking of the rock carvings of which there are at least two hundred in this district. Do you think we could go and look at one of these pictures. Only certain. We move now from the prehistoric first a cat further inland and we are standing on a rock sloping down towards y field which is plowed even today. And on this rock there are a number of rock carvings. This takes us right into the center of the farmer's life doesn't it. Both his practical world and the world of his imagination.
Yes certain to take his imagination first. The central symbol here is the sun and you can see a number of sun wheels almost rolling down the mountain slope towards the fields on the way. There are different types concentric circles some crosses and others and these some wheels they are fatalities symbols. Well they must be interpreted such I think. The sun has played a central part in all primitive religions and does so even today into a bronze age farmers of sun and rain and water when unnecessary life giving factors. It is true to say I think that all the symbols we find on these rock carvings such as the sun people greeting the sun with outstretched arms or dancing around the sun or people walking in procession and playing a nurse. All of these are expressions of the bronze age farmers attempt to come into contact with the divine powers who could bring blessing to his land and his cattle and his household too. Could one call these rock carvings a kind of offering in a way
to get these pictures into the Rock and try to come into contact with their gods was in itself an offering. If you look over here you can see on this slope a number of hollows carved into the Rock. These we think may have been filled with that which was and is a sacrifice to the gods. Most of these rock carvings are found right in the middle of the farm. Was that in order to direct the attention of the god to that particular land and bring a good harvest. That seems very likely. We often find these carvings under the surface when we dig down to the eyes meet the well-known sun symbols hands stretched towards the sun and so on. The rock carvings in this farming district are always placed in or directly up to the fields in a traditional hunting area as the rock carvings are more often found in the woods. There are a number of ships among the symbols on this rock and this seems to be a central Netty from the carvings we've seen.
How is that. It may seem strange that we find so many ships when we talk about a sun cult but we have a number of parallels from other cultures think of the Egyptian religion for instance where a ship carries a psalm to a night till he rises again in the east the next day the ship is played a central part in the fertility rites in many classical religions. There is a symbol here which I have noticed several times. It looks like a pair of footsteps. We think these must represent the footsteps of the god. And this again is well known in other cultures think of Buddhists with sex for example in the same way we have on the rock carvings pictures of hands the blessing hands of the god. But these carvings tell us not only of the religious beliefs in those days. They give us also practical information about the things a Bronze Age farmer had around him. This is by no means the least important part of the rock carvings. Without these drawings the pictures of the Forgotten 3000 year old bronze age would have been a lot poorer
since these people are drawing ships they must have seen ships probably they had ships which could carry some 30 to 40 men lying by the shores here in a neighborhood that had cost some cow carts two wheeled and four wheeled so that Spears axes pigs always everything we know from everyday life is represented on these carvings. And don't let me forget the picture the farmer himself behind his plough drawn by two oxen. Looking over this landscape and the kids and fields we see here today. Can we draw a line backwards. Trace a continuous development in the farming traditions from those days and up to today. I think so we have had farming in the Stone Age into the bronze age and I age well you can hit a lost age for yourself. The tractor in the background. David you will recall that in the end all do not you know he had been sold again although he was really a dog problem would have been just so high that if you continued
with. While the rock carvings give us the best picture of the Bronze Age farmer and his life and beliefs we must turn to the grave mounds along the coast land to learn about the growth of trade. This time the great man's can tell us a great deal of the society they spring from their geographical position next to the open sea. Their size and structure are not least the many valuable Brahms's which have been found within and which point to great wealth and a widespread contact with other cultures. Let us travel now to southwestern Norway to the tongue it has a grave mound which lies there majestically overlooking the wide stretch of the North Sea. I really have found now more sheltered place on the land side of the
mound and this is a curator and I lit up to tell us a bit about the background. When we read these mounds Brooke this actually mound was build in the early Bronze Age About twelve hundred B.C.. And we have hundreds of them in the southwestern part of Norway. Some of them like this one but also quite a lot of earth like the ones we find in Denmark and in the British Isles in the same period. Why are they built like this monumentally overlooking the field. The people of that period probably had close contact with the sea because trade and shipping master played an important role in their everyday life. All the moms are placed so that they can be seen from far away by the living people of that time and the builders may also have wanted the spirit of the dead
person to be able to overlook the country he or she knew and they see probably most of them. It's these huge grave mountains either. Do you think monuments to honor the dead or to honor God. It is a difficult question to answer. Probably we can say yes to both. They always contains a grave or wealthy man or woman and must clearly be a memorial of the dead person. But at the same time the erecting of a big mound must be part of religious activity since the fertility cult. Seen for instance in the rock carvings. And the worshipping of the dead. Are parts of the same really just system. On slabs in the grave grave chambers.
We often find carved figures of the same kind. As on the rock carvings always symbols of the Sun God. From classical Greek through the nation we know that people thought of the sun sailing on the ship across the sky during the day and through haters. The Kingdom Of The Dead during the night. It is just a double function of the sun which can be traced in the rock carvings and the burial cult. The construction of such a great mound does that tell us anything about the society which produced them. The people who build these mounds must have had time and surplus energy beyond the daily naked need. The mounds can be seen as an expression of people being able to cooperate and
probably also a more developed political structure. Maybe we achieve things already needing families at the top. But what do you think gave you the economic basis for this rich life. I think you'll have to look back to the late stone age and to the beginning of an agriculture to find background. I believe that the farming of the land is an activity that could give enough surplus to develop the more difference in society we find here in the Bronze Age. But now to go inside the grave what is found within most of the funds from these mounds are weapons on an untrue rare bronze and gold exclusively luxury articles. The great mound files tell Weatherly about everyday life
but from other sources. For instance the dwelling places we know that the tools were made of stone Flint boughs in the theater like in the Stone Age. That means that a lot of bronze finds were used only by the richer people. We must remember that the bronze that is copper and tin are produced only a few places in Europe at that time and therefore must have been a too precious metal for everyday use. The metal was imported then and that should show a close contract contact with the rest of Europe and the metal itself and a number of imported weapons and ornaments show close contact with both the central and western Europe but also some construction details in the mounds themselves
point to foreign influence. You know here are mainly the British Isles and France but are all the finds which have been down in Leeds these mounds and other places are they all imported. No of course not. In fact most of the bronze artifacts we have found are all local production. There are speed in fairly developed local industry and this can also be seen in a number of molding forms of soap story from this period. Do you think we might call this period the Bronze Age a golden age. Every European archaeologist the Danish bronze age is known as the golden age in the southwestern part of Norway they don't phone so many bronze is that we may be justified to
use the same term here. I would personally like to mention the Brahms lures from the later Bronze Age phone just authorized the longer. There are parallel musical instruments already find this side probably used in connection with the shipping of sound board. And that was the second in a series on the search for Norway's past produced by doll of radio Norway concluding
this program of Norwegian sketches to short music selections. The puppet carnival by Colby almost stud and a sports March called the score. The Norwegian broadcasting Orchestra conducted by or even bet. On the floor. I m. A n. U.
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The Norwegian broadcasting orchestra. I do direction of all even by performing the puppet carnival by called Bjorn off stood on the march. Those score including this program of Norwegian Skechers. Program was repaired at the University of Michigan by Marianne Woodson. This is struggling. Join us again next week. To get. To go. This is NPR the national educational radio network.
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Norwegian Sketches
Episode Number
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
Norwegian Sketches is a National Educational Radio Network program prepared by the University of Michigan . Each episode features a unique selection of music and commentary from the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation. Musical selections are performed by the Norwegian Broadcasting Orchestra, and commentaries include documentaries, lectures, and readings from Radio Norway.
Local Communities
Recorded Music
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Host: Hindley, Fred
Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Producing Organization: Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-27-2 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:30:02
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