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Picturing the Bronze Age (Paperback)

Ancient History > Prehistory > European Prehistory

Edited by Ulf Bertilsson, Edited by Johan Ling, Edited by Peter Skoglund
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Swedish Rock Art Research
Pages: 184
Illustrations: fully color illustrated
ISBN: 9781789259858
Published: 15th April 2023
Casemate UK Academic



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Pictures from the Bronze Age are numerous, vivid and complex. There is no other prehistoric period that has produced such a wide range of images spanning from rock art to figurines to decoration on bronzes and gold. Fourteen papers, with a geographical coverage from Scandinavia to the Iberian Peninsula, examine a wide range of topics reflecting the many forms and expressions of Bronze Age imagery encompassing important themes including religion, materiality, mobility, interaction, power and gender.


Contributors explore specific elements of rock art in some detail such as the representation of the human form; images of manslaughter; and gender identities. The relationship between rock art imagery and its location on the one hand, and metalwork and networks of trade and exchange of both materials and ideas on the other, are considered. Modern and ancient perceptions of rock art are discussed, in particular the changing perceptions that have developed during almost 150 years of documented research.


Picturing the Bronze Age is based on an international workshop with the same title held in Tanum, Sweden in October 2012.

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About Ulf Bertilsson

Ulf Bertilsson is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Gothenburg with research interests in the interpretation of Bronze Age rock art and, particularly its cosmological referents. He has been a key player in the establishment and development of the Swedish rock art archive held by the university.

About Johan Ling

Johan Ling is a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History in Gothenburg. His research interests are primarily in rock art, its chronology and landscapes, particularly the relationship between rock art and shore displacement in Bronze Age Sweden; and in the use lead isotope analyses on bronze items to investigate the possibility of copper extraction Sweden at that time.

About Peter Skoglund

Peter Skoglund is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Gothenburg. His main research interest is Scandinavian Bronze Age material culture, especially regional variations in material culture and the relationship between local material expressions and external influences, with particular reference to monuments, rock-art and trees. his latest research involves the application of   new dating evidence for the chronological and geographical framework of rock-art in South and Central Swedenand its social and ritual significance.

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