Ausevika Figure Interpretation 1

I drew an interpretation of what the creature in one of the rock carving figures at Ausevika might represent.

Silhouette and pencil-drawn interpretation of a monster-like petroglyph figure from Ausevika.

The petroglyph figure depicts a a four-legged creature with a large mouth and big claws. My first thought was that it might be a bear, but the ears are too long for a bear. Maybe a wolf, though it doesn’t seem to have much of a tail. The body extends behind the thin hind legs, and looks almost insect like. A majority of the Ausevika creatures share this trait, including the thin legs with bird-like feet.

Close-up photograph of the actual petroglyph from Ausevika
The actual petroglyph at Ausvika.

The figure also features interior stripes within its body, a common element in Norwegian rock art. In this interpretation, I rendered these stripes as tiger-like patterns in the creature’s fur. Many of the Ausevika figures overlap, and while I disregarded the overlapping figures for this interpretation, they may hold symbolic importance. For instance, the wavy pattern intersecting the front feet makes it look like the creature is standing in water.

Pencil-drawn interpretation of a monster-like petroglyph figure from Ausevika.

After rendering the creature with fur and all, it doesn’t resemble any specific animal. I believe a lot of rock art figures are not intended to depict specific animals, but are simply drawings of monster. Art history is full of drawings of monsters with big teeth and claws, symbolizing underlying fears in humanity. It is likely that we have always drawn monsters, and there may be many representations of this in rock art.

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