Creating Connection

The power of stories

On solid ground

Legend tells of a stone ...

A song many centuries old sings of a stone near the Norwegian border, inscribed with an ancient prophecy about the world coming to an end.

In 1675, a polymath from Uppsala sent out the first expedition to this part of the Swedish kingdom. It returned with mountain panoramas and a drawing of the ‚Stone in the Green Valley‘. 

Its mysterious carvings appear among the hundreds of woodcuts illustrating the Atlantica. In this monumental work, Olof Rudbeck (1630–1702) argued that Scandinavia was the place where all civilisation and mythology had originated. And as such, the north – its nature, antiquities, languages, customs – still held the keys to ancient texts and artefacts. 

It was a revelation that made utopia a reality. 

Legendary places such us Atlantis or the Elysium have not just existed in the mind of the ancient writers. Our earliest myths were inspired by something that was tangible and real, first and foremost the landscapes of the north. 

His home country, so Rudbeck claimed, provided the clues to reach the deepest core of ancient myth. The evidence was out there for everyone to witness – a nature that, thanks to his work, now basked in the glow of ancient promise again. 

"I call our land itself the foundation of my work – its lakes, its mountains, rivers, and all the other things of this kind that mark our home and that the most ancient writers have reviewed, or rather: that will remain unchangeable and fixed until that stone from the book of Daniel, by which everything has been created, shatters and destroys them."

Olof Rudbeck, Atlantica, vol. 1 (1679), p. 887. Cf. Dan 2:34–35.

The Project

Frozen Atlantis

Frozen Atlantis is a research project in Public History that is passionate about stories by which human beings connect with the world around them. 

Across one generation, changes of mythical dimensions have begun to impact all life on earth. The old narratives of who we are and what we may hope for are losing ground. Apathetic we stand in the white noise of disturbing images and alarming numbers, not knowing what will take their place. 

We believe that in the 21st century stories still respond to an essential human need – to order the world and describe our place within it. 

In a time of crisis, we return to one of the most spectacular attempts to devise such a narrative. Going back and forth between the outdoors and the library, we set out to the changing landscapes that Olof Rudbeck presented as the foundation of our earliest stories more than three centuries ago. 

Creating innovative media formats accessible to a wider audience, we bring you stories that connect the past and the present – stories that create awareness for a world we leave changed, and that nourish our enduring need to find meaning in the world we live in.