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Bronze Age Rock Art in Iberia and Scandinavia (Paperback)

Words, Warriors, and Long-distance Metal Trade

Ancient History > Prehistory > Bronze Age

Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Swedish Rock Art Research
Pages: 160
Illustrations: 60 B/W and color illustrations
ISBN: 9798888571040
Published: 10th June 2024
Casemate UK Academic


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Recent research has uncovered new evidence of long-distance interactions between Scandinavia and Iberia during the Late Bronze Age. Advances in various lines of inquiry, such as 3D recording of rock art, iconography, metals and amber sourcing, linguistics, and, to some extent, more indirect indications from human remains, as reflected by strontium and aDNA results, have made this possible. The main goal of this book is to cross reference Iberian Late Bronze Age warrior iconography with Scandinavian warrior iconography. However, we will also account for links based on archeometallurgical evidence, linguistics, and other lines of inquiry, such as Baltic Amber, and metal artifacts. The results have been produced within the framework of the RAW project, an international undertaking funded by the Swedish Research Council. The RAW project is motivated by the discovery of isotopic and chemical evidence for Nordic Bronze Age artifacts made of copper that originated in the Iberian Peninsula. These findings led to re-opening two long known, but poorly explained, phenomena: 1) numerous shared motifs and close formal parallels in the rock art of Scandinavia and Iberian ‘warrior’ stelae, and 2) a large body of inherited words shared by the Celtic and Germanic languages, but not the other Indo-European branches. An integrated explanation for the three phenomena (Iberian metal in Scandinavia, parallels in Bronze Age rock carvings, and Celto-Germanic vocabulary) could now be formulated as a testable hypothesis: an episode in the Bronze Age when materials and ideas were exchanged over long distances between Scandinavia and the Atlantic West, including the Iberian Peninsula.

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