<bron16.htm>> [Bronze Age Text]
(CLICK to Enlarge)
More skits of athletic competition at the Thorri festival are shown in the great inscription at Fossum, Bohuslän, Sweden. The apparently incongruous ships here serve as phonetic punning hieroglyphs (isophones), giving words whose sound approximates that of the object depicted.
The upper inscriptions may be read as M-N SKUTA W-L = Old Norse menn skjöda villi = "men shooting wild deer." The skiff is called skuta in Old Norse, which is close to the sound of the verb "shoot." The antlers of the deer evidently contain a cryptic ogam text, as yet unresolved.
In the lower inscription a large ship appears, and the key isophones here are skuta, in this case meaning "stern," and fram, meaning, "bow." But skuta fram approximates the sound of skjöda fram = "to shoot the farthest." Therefore, the text reads in Old Norse skjoda fram ad targinn = "shooting the farthest at the target." The target is a large, round shied held by the partner, whose accouterments form the letters required, as shown. This sport seems to have been rendered harmless by removing the head from the arrow or by enclosing the head in wrapping. (Fell 1982).