I believe that most myths and legends have a core of truth. That is called euhemerism. The Germanic languages are quite different from other Indo-European languages. According to one hypothesis the Proto-Germanic language arose as a hybrid of two Indo-European languages, one each of Centum and Satem types. This hypothesis might help to explain the difficulty of finding the right place for Germanic within the Indo-European family. According to another hypothesis the elements of the common Germanic vocabulary and syntactical forms which do not seem to have an Indo-European origin show Proto-Germanic to be a creole language. It has been suggested that these elements came from a prior population that remained among the Indo-Europeans and was sufficiently influential to transmit some elements of its own language. This theory was first proposed by the historical linguist Sigmund Feist.
In Norse mythology there are two tribes of gods, the Æsir and the Vanir. The Æsir migrated to the land of the Vanir. They came in conflict with the Vanir. The Æsir-Vanir War was a war that occurred between the Æsir and the Vanir. The Æsir and Vanir are said to have made peace. They exchanged hostages, intermarried and reigned together. After the Æsir-Vanir War the gods were generally referred to collectively as Æsir. I think the mythical Æsir-Vanir War mirror a half-remembered conflict.
Kristian Kristiansen is Professor at the Department of Archaeology, University of Gothenburg. Kristian Kristiansen has suggested that the Nordic Bronze Age started in southeastern Skåne and from there spread to the rest of southern Scandinavia. The Kivik Grave in southeastern Skåne is from the Nordic Bronze Age. The Kivik Grave is unique in a European context. There are some similarities with graves found in the eastern Mediteranian from the same period. In both construction and in size it differs from other burials in Scandinavia from that period. The site has been used as a quarry over a long period of time. A comparison with other contemporaneous graves suggests that the site might have been three times higher than it is today. Several stones in the tomb are adorned with petroglyphs. One of these stones is missing and several stones are severely damaged. The petroglyphs in the Kivik Grave are made in a iconographic style that in some ways differ from the petroglyphs that can be found on rocks all over Scandinavia.
There are two groups of people depicted on the lower part of one of the stones. Each group consists of four individuals. I think the two groups are the Æsir and the Vanir. Next to each group is an Omega (Ω) symbol. This probably means the end of the two people. Right above each people is a group of individuals that I think are gods or ancestors. I think these groups above each people are the gods or ancestors worshiped by that people. There are three gods or ancestors above the people to the left. There are five gods or ancestors above the people to the right. I think a womb is depicted on the upper left corner of the stone. There are two individuals inside the womb. This is a symbol of the two people intermarrying and becoming one. On the upper right corner of the stone is a group with four individuals. This is the two people that now have become one, the Proto-Germanic people.
On the lower part of another stone one individual is giving praise to all the eight gods or ancestors. The Proto-Germanic people now worship all the eight gods or ancestors. The Proto-Germanic people expanded to the north and the south. The old stories about their origins became myths. These myths became part of what we today call Norse mythology.
There are several sun crosses on the stones. The sun cross was a solar symbol. The sun cross was the symbol of the solar year, the four cardinal points and the four seasons.
On the upper part of another stone there are two horses facing right (the same direction). I think this is a symbol of the Summer Solstice. When a mare is sexually receptive towards a stallion is controlled by the length of the day. The cycle is triggered when the days begin to lengthen. That is why the builders chose two horses facing the same direction as a symbol of the Summer Solstice. On the lower part of the stone there are two horses facing each other. I think this is a symbol of the Winter solstice. On the upper part of the stone the two horses are facing right. The horses face right because the sun move clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. I think the people that built the Kivik Grave knew about the sun year calender.
The Amber Road was an ancient trade route connecting northern Europe with the eastern Mediterranean. Several rock carvings in southern Scandinavia depict ships that have been identified as plausibly Mediterranean. Amber found in Mycenaean graves from this period originates from the Baltic Sea. The Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun had Baltic amber among his burial goods.
I think the people that migrated to Skåne originally came from northwestern Anatolia. They mixed with the natives and created a creole people, the Proto-Germanic people. The culture that arose in the Nordic Bronze Age probably constituted one supply end of the so-called Amber Road. The Troad was a region in northwestern Anatolia. Troy was an ancient city in the Troad region. Troy was known for its riches gained from port trade with east and west. The people of the Troad probably spoke an Anatolian language. The Germanic words for sun have the peculiarity of alternating between -l- and -n- stems. This continues a Proto-Indo-European alternation that is a remnant of an archaic declension pattern that remained productive only in the Anatolian languages.
In Greek mythology Eridanos was a river in northern Europe rich in amber. Hyperborea was a land in northern Europe. The Twelve Olympians were the principal gods of the Greek pantheon. Apollo was the only one among the Twelve Olympians that visited the Hyperboreans. Apollo has Anatolian origins. Apollo comes from the Anatolian god Apaliunas. In Greek mythology Apollo fought on the side of the Trojans during the Trojan War.
In Norse mythology Skaði was a jötunn and goddess associated with bowhunting. Skaði married Njörðr that was a Vanir. She then divorced Njörðr and married Ullr that was an Æsir. This is a metaphor. Skaði represented Scandinavia. Njörðr represented the Vanir that lived in Scandinavia. Ullr represented the Æsir that migrated to Scandinavia. A lot of what we know about Norse mythology we owe to Saxo Grammaticus and Snorri Sturluson. Saxo Grammaticus was a Danish historian born in the 12th century. Saxo Grammaticus wrote Gesta Danorum. Snorri Sturluson was an Icelandic historian/poet born in the 12th century. Snorri Sturlusson wrote the Prose Edda and Heimskringla. According to Snorri Sturluson the Æsir were from either Trache or Troy. The Æsir migrated to Scandinavia, where they took wives and had many children, populating the hole of Scandinavia with Æsir. The language of the Æsir became the language of Scandinavia. In Norse mythology Thor was the god of sky and storm. Thor were to slay the serpent Jörmungandr at Ragnarök. The Hittite and Luwian name for the god of sky and storm was Tarhun. According to Hittite myth Tarhun slew the serpentine dragon Illuyanka.
Many rock carvings in southern Scandinavia have been dated as belonging to the Nordic Bronze Age by comparing depicted artifacts with archaeological finds. Bronze axes are often portrayed in petroglyphs. The rather crude appearance of the petroglyphs compared to the bronze workings seem to indicate they were produced by different cultures or different social groups. I think many of the rock carvings depicting ships and wagons reflect the expansion of the Proto-Germanic people. It was a long process. The newcomers remained a ruling elite. Slowly but surely the two people became one. A radical change in climate around 650 BCE brought a much colder climate. The climate change triggered migrations southwards into continental Europe.
It has been said that there are two ships depicted on one of the stones in the Kivik Grave. I don't think that is true. I think a man is depicted on the stone. The man is depicted from the side laying on his back. The man is engulfed in flames. The body is made in a indistinct way because the body is consumed by the fire. The body is connected to the shelf. There was probably an object placed on the shelf. I think the image on the stone depict a man being cremated. The man depicted on the stone might be Ullr. There is a strophe in the Grímnismál that goes...
the good will of Ullr
and all the gods
whoever first touches the fire
for open will the worlds be
to the sons of the Æsir
when they lift each
This is my own translation. This obscure strophe might refer to the Kivik Grave. The strophe can be found in the Grímnismál. The Grímnismál is considered to be among the oldest poems in the Prose Edda. Ullr is almost unknown in the myths but his name is seen in a lot of geographical names. This indicate that his cult was widespread in prehistoric times. According to Saxo Grammaticus Odin was thrown out of Asgard by the other gods. When Odin was exiled, Ullr was chosen to take his place. Ullr ruled untill Odin was called back. Ullr was then slain by the Danes. I think this mirror a cultural and religious conflict. Odin was a latecomer to the Norse pantheon. Odin has Celtic origins. Odin comes from the Celtic god Lugus. Both are intellectual gods, commanding magic and poetry. Both have ravens and a spear as their attributes. Both are one-eyed. Loki and Odin were one and the same until the early Norse Period. The Proto-Germanic people expanded to the north and the south. As the Proto-Germanic people expanded south they mixed with the Proto-Celtic peoples. The Beaker culture had stretched all the way to Jylland. The Proto-Celtic peoples are probably linked to the earlier Beaker culture.
There used to be many turf mazes and stone-lined mazes in northern Europe. Some stone-lined mazes in Scandinavia still exist. Many of these mazes have names which translated to English means Troy. These type of mazes are often found close to the sea. Place-names connected to Ullr are often found close to these type of mazes. A similar type of maze is engraved on an Etruscan wine-jar from the late 7th century BCE. The name Troy is inscribed in the outermost circuit of the maze. The other engravings on the Etruscan wine-jar and stories about these type of mazes suggest they were connected with some sort of ceremonial event. The same type of maze can also be found on ancient coins from the island of Crete. In Greek mythology the Labyrinth was a legendary maze-like structure on the island of Crete. The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age culture that arose on the island and flourished from approximately the 27th century BCE to the 15th century BCE when it was overrun by the Mycenean civilization from mainland Greece. According to the ancient writer Virgil a king named Teucer left his native island Crete with a third of its inhabitants and settled in the Troad. These people became the Trojans. There is a mountain southeast of the ruins of Troy that in ancient times was called Mount Ida. Mount Ida was located on the Trojan plain. Mount Ida was sacred to the Trojans. There is a mountain on the island of Crete that in ancient times was called Mount Ida. The mountain was sacred to the people on the island. I think the people from Crete that settled in the Troad named the mountain in northwestern Anatolia after the mountain on the island of Crete. In Norse mythology Iðavöllr was a plain where the Æsir lived. Iðavöllr means the plain of Ida. Another peculiar similarity is the custom that a third of the people would depart if the land couldn't support the entire people. Just like king Teucer departed with a third of his people, so did several Germanic peoples like the Langobards and the Goths.
A link to my post about the origins of the Langobards:
The Bjäre peninsula in northwestern Skåne is known for an unusually high density of Bronze Age graves. The Tofta mounds on the Bjäre peninsula are known locally as Gudahovet. Gudahovet means the court of the gods. In northwestern Skåne there are place-names like Vanstad, Vantinge, Valhall and Gimle. In Norse mythology Asgard is a place where the gods live. Valhalla is located within Asgard. The gods and humans that survive Ragnarök build Gimlé on Iðavöllr. In northwestern Skåne there are two hundreds called Åsbo Southern Hundred and Åsbo Northern Hundred. A hundred is a geographic division, which historically was used to divide a larger region into smaller administrative divisions. In medieval times the two hundreds were called Asbo Southern Hundred and Asbo Northern Hundred. Asbo means the place where the Æsir live.
The Bjäre peninsula and the Kullen peninsula in northwestern Skåne form a bay called Skälderviken. There is a town on the cost with the same name. This is also where you find the place-name Valhall. The first segment of Skälderviken means shield. One of the kennings for Ullr was shield. Ullr's ship was called Skjöldr. Skjöldr means shield. Beowulf (8th century) is an Old English poem. According to the text Scyld Scefing came in a boat as a child to Scedenigge/Scedelandum. The Old English name for Skåne was Scedenig. Scedelandum means the Scanian lands. The old name for Skåneland was Skånelandene. Skånelandene means the Scanian lands. Later on Scyld Scefing became king of the land. Scyld means shield. In Scandinavian texts like the Prose Edda Scyld Scefing is called Skjöldr. Widsith (9th century) is an Old English poem. The text mentions a Langobard king called Sceafa. The Æthelweard Chronicle (10th century) tell the history of the Anglo-Saxons. According to the text the Anglo-Saxon kings decendeded from a Langobard king called Scef. According to the text Scef came in a boat as a child to Scani. Scani means Skåne. Later on Scef became king of the land. In the Beowulf text Scyld Scefing is referred to as the giver of rings. In the eddic poem Atlakviða there is a line that refer to the rings of Ullr. In Lilla Ullevi north of Stockholm archaeologists have excavated a religious worshiping ground for Ullr. The archaeologists found 65 rings. I think Scyld Scefing and Ullr were one and the same.
According to a local Scanian legend Torekov was named after Thora who was drowned and was found on the shore of Torekov by a blind man. Thora was buried by the blind man who then regained his sight. Torekov is a villiage on the Bjäre peninsula. In Greek mythology Ilus was the son of Tros. Ilus founded the city Ilion. Ilus won a wrestling prize at games held by the king of Phrygia. He received fifty youths and maidens as his reward. The king also, on the advice of an oracle, gave him a cow and asked him to found a city where it should lie down. Ilus did so. Ilus prayed for a sign and saw the Palladium but was immediately blinded for the impiety of looking on the image. He regained his sight after making offerings. The Scanian legend has a Christian setting. I think the legend has pre-Christian roots. I think the legend was given a Christian setting much later on.
Sons of Noah is an extensive list of descendants of Noah appearing within the Torah at Genesis 10, representing an ethnology from an Iron Age Levantine perspective. Japheth was one of the sons of Noah. Japheth's first son was Gomer. Gomer's first son was Ashkenaz. Ashkenazi Jews are descended from the medieval Jewish communities of Germany. Ashkenaz was the Medieval Hebrew name for Germany and German-speaking borderland areas. It was also the Hebrew name for the land of the Phrygians. I think the Jews knew there was a connection between the Germanic peoples and northwestern Anatolia. During the Trojan War the region by Lake Ascania (aka Lake Ascanius) in Anatolia was held by the Phrygians who sent troops to the aid of the Trojans. It is possible that the fifty youths and maidens that the Phrygian king gave to Ilus came from the region by Lake Ascania. In Greek mythology several Trojans have the name Ascanius.
I think the Veneti are linked to the continental trade during the Bronze Age. The Veneti lived in what today is northern Poland. This was the beginning of the Amber Road. The Veneti also lived in what today is the region of Veneto and Slovenia. This was the end of the Amber Road. According to ancient writers the Veneti orginally came from Anatolia and were partly of Trojan descent. The Baltic Veneti are believed to have been a centum Indo-European people. Their heritage is attributed to Pre-Slavic hydronyms found in Poland. Hydronyms attributed to the Baltic Veneti seem to show resemblances to those attested in the area of the Adriatic Veneti as well as those attested in the Western Balkans that are attributed to Illyrians, all of which may point to a possible connection between these ancient Indo-European peoples. There was probably a Veneti presence in what today is the region of Brittany. Bronze is a metal alloy usually consisting of copper and tin. The sources of tin in Europe are scarce. Tin had to be traded over very long distances. Brittany has significant sources of tin. Devon and Cornwall close to Brittany also have significant sources of tin. This is probably why there was a Veneti presence in Brittany. I think the Veneti in Brittany later got assimilated by the Celtic peoples in the region. The reason I mention the Veneti is to show that people really did travel from the eastern Mediteranian to the Baltic Sea in ancient times.
The Sami people are a Finno-Ugric people that live on the northern part of the Scandinavian peninsula. The earliest Sami yoik texts written down refer to the world as Skadesi-suolo (north-Sami) and Skađsuâl (east-Sami), probably meaning Skaði's island. The Sami name was a loan word from the North Germanic languages. Sk- in words used in Sami is a phonotactic structure of non-native origin. The goddess Skaði may have once been a personification of Scandinavia.
Skåne (aka Scania) and Scandinavia have the same etymology. It's two different forms of the same name. Originally it was the name for Skåne. As the Proto-Germanic people expanded it became the name for all of Scandinavia. It appears later in Old Norse as Skáney. I think the first segment of the name originally derive from the Indo-European root for shoot. The Indo-European root for shoot was probably *skeud-. The second segment of the name means island. The Old English name for Skåne was Scedenig. The first segment of the name originally derive from the same root as the first segment of Skåne. The second segment of the name represents Old English īġ that means island.
A link to a post about why *skeud- probably was the Indo-European word for shoot:
During the Migration Period Germanic tribes wandered across the European continent. Several of these tribes claimed Scandinavian origins. They called it the womb of nations. According to the Goths their original homeland was Scandza. According to the Langobards their original homeland was Scadan/Scadanan. The Proto-Germanic word for shoot was probably *skeutanan. Note the similarity between Scadan/Scadanan and *skeutanan. Also note the similarity between Scadan/Scadanan and Scedenig. The Scanian word for shoot is almost the same as *skeud-.
The people that originally was known as Illyrians might be linked to the Trojans. This people occupied a small and well-defined part of the south Adriatic coast around Lake Skadar (aka Lake Scutari). Shkodra is a city next to Lake Skadar. The name of the lake and the name of the city have the same etymology. I think the first segment of the name of the lake and the city originally derive from *skeud-. In Greek the city is known as Scutarion or Skodra. In Italian the city is known as Scutari. In Serbian, Croatian, Montenegrin and Macedonian the city is known as Skadar. In Turkish the city is known as İşkodra. The name of the Scythians probably was *Skuda (archer). The name originally derive from Indo-European root for shoot. These two examples give support to my claim that the first segment of Skåne and Scandinavia derive from *skeud-.
Skanör is a town on the Falsterbo peninsula in southwestern Skåne. The first segment of the name has the same etymology as the first segment of Skåne. The second segment of the name means sandbanks. The Falsterbo peninsula belongs to Skytt hundred. Skytt means archer. The Falsterbo peninsula is shaped like an arm holding a bow. I think that was why the Proto-Germanic people named their homeland "Skåne".
This post will continuously be updated...