Around 300 stones with sun shaped carvings have been found in Bornholm, Denmark, at the neolithic site known as Vasagård and the nearby site of Rispebjerg.
The sun stones are small and generally made of shale, with various carvings of suns and concentric circles, which are symbols that have been used by many cultures and communities all over the world that practiced the ancient Religion of the Sun.
The purpose or function of the stones is currently unknown. Finn Ole Sonne Nielsen, the lead archaeologist at the Bornholm Museum remarked in the article below that,
Many of the sun stones and one of the field stones are very worn, so it looks as though someone has run around with them in their pocket.
There is also evidence that the stones were possibly used in ceremonies or rituals, as some appeared to have been deliberately broken or purposefully deposited into different areas of the structures.34
Stones that have been carved in a similar way with various patterns have been found in other areas of Denmark as well as Sweden, Scotland and England.5
An impressive amount of around 600 carved stones were found in ceremonial buildings at another neolithic site known as “Ness of Brodgar” in Scotland.6 The expansive neolithic complex contains a chambered cairn and several standing stones and stone circles which have alignments to the solstices and equinoxes.
The carved stones at Ness of Brodgar were found within the walls of the various stone structures, some visible as decorative objects and others that were used in the wall material itself. Though the style of the carvings differed from the Danish stones, it suggests the stones found in Bornholm may have been used in a similar way since they were also found placed inside ceremonial structures.7
It’s thought that the sun carvings on the stones found at Vasagård and Rispebjerg carried a deeper meaning which related to the sun when put in context of the similarities in architecture to other sacred sites in Denmark and throughout Europe which placed an emphasis on the sun by aligning to the solstices and equinoxes along with other solar imagery found at them.8
The sites where the stones have been found also share many of the same characteristics of other sacred sites around the world that were used by people who practiced the Religion of the Sun.
Several earth covered dolmens surrounded by ditches known as a causewayed enclosures have been discovered, which is a building style that is found throughout Europe.
There are also wooden circles that resemble “woodhenges,” with a ceremonial stone placed in the middle of them.
Archaeologists have interpreted these structures as being ceremonial houses after finding evidence of them being covered in decorative clay panels and items that appeared to have been used in rituals within them.9
One of the sun stone carvings was found inside one of the post holes of this structure pictured below:
Here is a short video of inside of one of the stone structures at Vasagård:
Vasagård is still being studied and research at the site is being led by Dr. Finn Ole Nielsen, Dr. Paul Otto Nielsen, Dr. M. Nicolás Caretta and MSc. Michael Thorsen.
It’s possible more information and artifacts will come to light to add to the growing evidence that a community of people who celebrated the spiritual sun lived on the island of Bornholm in Denmark 5000 years ago.
“Denmark: Vasagård.” Institute for Field Research. Accessed December 29, 2017. http://ifrglobal.org/program/denmark-vasagard/.
Fuglsang, P. “Solstenene i praksis / The ‘sunstones’ in practice.” Academia.edu. Accessed December 30, 2017. http://www.academia.edu/31890851/Solstenene_i_praksis_The_sunstones_in_practice.
Kaul, Flemming, Jens Andresen, and Michael S. Thorsen. “Recent finds of Neolithic miniature rock art on the island of Bornholm including topographic motifs.” Adoranten magazine, Scandinavian Society for Prehistoric Art. 2016. Accessed January 01, 2018. http://www.rockartscandinavia.com/recent-finds-of-neolithic-miniature-rock-art-on-the-island-of-bornholm-including-topographic-motifs-by-flemming-kaul-jens-andresen-and-michael-s-thorsen-aa120.php.