The animal turning it's head forewards, sideways and backwards - was the basic element i the logo of Skien's 1000 year anniversary, in the year 2000. This symbol was ment to indicate our focus - Skien in the past - the present - and in the future. Today this symbol is Skien's official water-mark on writingpaper for Skiens administration. This animal-figure has a very important significance for Skien, because it's one of the main-proofs tha Skien has a more than 1000 year history.
This animal-figure was drawn onto a wooden plank (floor-plank) - found when archeoligist Siri Myrvoll and her group did their excavations at "Handelstorget" ( the market place) in 1979. This floor-plank is related to the last years of the Vikings-period. It shows us that Skien had trade-connections to the european continent probably a long time before the year 1000. Thie expression of this animal-figure is carachteristic for this area the closest century before 1000.
The citicens of Skien did early learn to do tradeactivities with people form the other side of the ocean. The very first product was hone-stone, which was processed in the Eidsborg mines in the Dalen-area in upper Telemark. The hone-stone was brought to Skien by boat - through the Skien Channel - and reloaded from the upper water "Hjellevannet"to the lower water "Skien River". The trade-business increased through the Middel-age - and became an important export-industry for the Skien and Telemark area.
"Where the waters is splitting up"
The name Skien comes from the word "skida", which probably means "splitted river". The city-name Skien therefore probably is related to the natural watershed between Skiens upper and lower water-surface. As years went by in skien, people found another important way using this water-channel and natural waterfall.
The Great Timber-Power
Allready in the 1500's Skien had built a huge position as Norways biggest timbertown. More than 40 gate-saws were established at the most, along the waterfalls. Timber was exported to other countries, but also shipped to norwegian customers. This timber-business made Skien become a big city from that time scale.
Union A/S - became the main industry company in the centre of Skien. Union was the proof of the waterfalls importance at that time. The proud and great drive-logs-monument located om "Smieøya" reminds us about the reason for Skiens growth and long industry-traditions.
Skiens logo - "the animal" shall remind us about this 1000-years history, and make us proud. But more than this - Det er denne historien logo-merket for Skiens 1000-års jubileum i år 2000 skal minne oss om. Men ikke bare The remaining months towards the new century, should also remind us that vi all have an important period today, looking forward and prepare for the future - for all the people living in our wide municipality.