"THE ROSSLAND GOD"
The stone head of the "Rossland god" and the two large rectangular stone
vessels are copies. The original stone head was allegedly found in the scree
below the stone altar in the 18th Century. The head is 61cm high and roughly
hewn out of local laboradorite. One of the stone vessels was found in the
same place. The other vessel comes from the neighbouring farm. Both vessels
have basin-like depressions, which are indicative of cult use.
ROSSLAND - CENTRE FOR A FERTILITY CULT?
It is difficult to say with certainty whether the stone altar at Rossland
was linked with a fertility cult, but the head and vessels are strong
indications. If the vessels are prehistoric, it is natural to Interpret them
as sacrificial vessels. Horse sacrifice was part of the Frey cult. According
to Icelandic historian Snorre Sturlason, the blood of the horses was
collected in sacrificial blood basins and used to stain the altar. A
libation was then drunk to Froy for a good harvest and peace. Other relics
and place names testify that there was a centre for a fertility cult at
Rossland in the Early Iron Age. The name Rossland may derive from the Old
Norwegian word for horse: hross.
In Norway all cultural relics dating back to before the Reformation (i.e.
pre-1537) are protected by law.