Moelv Petroglyphs Part 6

The three moose(?) figures at Moelv. To discuss the figures I refer to them as figure 14, 15 and 16 (from left to right).

Figure 14

The figure to the left (figure 14) i interpreted as a moose where the internal pattern is a snake with an open mouth inside the stomach of the moose. Why the original artists drew these internal patterns on deer figures is a bit of a mystery. That the artist’s intent was to represent a snake in the stomach of this animal may not be a very likely interpretation, but I’m exploring different options and a snake was the first thing I thought about when seeing this pattern. A snake in the stomach could have symbolized that the animal was sick or dying from internal disease. Many of the animals of the Moelv rock seem to have one set cojoined legs like I drew here. On several of the figures one set of legs are also very short, like on this figure. Perhaps both pair of legs on the figures were originally of equal length and some of the legs have just faded over time, or maybe one pair of legs was intentionally made much shorter than the other pair.

Figure 15

The large middle figure has these lines above the back that I tried interpreting as glowing “shine lines”. The thin lines for ears/antlers are drawn in the same style, so I glow too, and then did the same for the internal pattern. Portraying a subject with a glow around it, like a halo, can be used to indicate that it sacred in some way. In this case I have interpreted the two figures on either side of the central one as having something to do with death. The glowing figure in the center could represent something sacred that rises above death, or goes beyond it.

Figure 16

In the drawing above I interpreted the figure to the right in the image (figure 16) as headless animal with a view of the internal organs. The somewhat abstract design above it I interpreted as a bird. In some cultures, such as in ancient Egyptian religion, a bird can represent an aspect of the soul (ba). It is possible that the petroglyph figure originally had a head, and these lines has faded due to damage to the rock. But there are other examples of deer figures with missing heads, and this might be an intentional symbol. This figure also overlaps with the larger figure in the middle in a way that suggests that the larger figure might be giving birth to it. Maybe there is some birth/death symbolism being represented in these figures.

Example of another decapitated deer figure (this one is from Ekeberg). The figure on the right might also represent a bird.