Rock carving from Svenneby, Bohuslän in Sweden. One of the persons on board the sun ship holds a sun symbol, however, it also resembles a Bronze Age shield. The small strokes representing the ship's crew could be the souls of the dead rowing the sun ship.
Life after death
The Bronze Age people lie in their oak coffins. But what did people think happened to the soul of the deceased? They probably imagined that the soul followed the sun around on its journey across the sky and through the underworld by night. Each morning the soul was reborn along with the sun. Perhaps it was thought that some of the dead were given an honourable, sacred role as part of the crew of the Sun Ship. In this way the dead helped to ensure that the sun moved along on its eternal journey.