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Thinking Through Images (Paperback)

Narrative, Rhythm, Embodiment and Landscape in the Nordic Bronze Age

Ancient History > Prehistory > European Prehistory Ancient History > Prehistory > Rock Art

By Christopher Tilley
Imprint: Oxbow Books
Series: Swedish Rock Art Research
Pages: 232
Illustrations: B/w and colour
ISBN: 9781789257014
Published: 15th September 2021
Casemate UK Academic



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This book provides a general self-reflexive review and critical analysis of Scandinavian rock art from the standpoint of Chris Tilley’s research in this area over the last thirty years. It offers a novel alternative theoretical perspective stressing the significance of visual narrative structure and rhythm, using musical analogies, putting particular emphasis on the embodied perception of images in a landscape context.


Part I reviews the major theories and interpretative perspectives put forward to understand the images, in historical perspective, and provides a critique discussing each of the main types of motifs occurring on the rocks. Part II outlines an innovative theoretical and methodological perspective for their study stressing sequence and relationality in bodily movement from rock to rock. Part III is a detailed case study and analysis of a series of rocks from northern Bohuslän in western Sweden. The conclusions reflect on the theoretical and methodological approach being taken in relation to the disciplinary practices involved in rock art research, and its future.

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