Picturing the Bronze Age

Skoglund, P., J. Lung, U. Bertilsson (eds).

Hardcover. 176 pp. Richly illustrated. Oxbow 2015.

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. Fifteen 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.


Picturing the Bronze Age – an introduction
Johan Ling, Peter Skoglund and Ulf Bertilsson

From folk oddities and remarkable relics for the educated to scientific substrates for archaeologists – 135 years of changing perceptions of the rock carvings in Northern Bohuslän, Sweden 
Ulf Bertilsson

Hyper-Masculinity and the Construction of Gender Identities in the Bronze Age Rock Carvings of Southern Sweden 
Lynne Bevan 

Mixed media, mixed messages: religious transmission in Bronze Age Scandinavia 
Richard Bradley

Walking on the stones of years. Some remarks on the NW Iberian rock art 
R. Fábregas Valcarce & C. Rodríguez-Rellán

A rock with a view: New perspectives on Danish rock art
Louise Felding

Contested worlds – A chronotopic essay about mortuary monuments and cultural change in Northern Europe in the 2nd millennia BC 
Joakim Goldhahn

Rock art and the alchemy of bronze. Metal and images in Early Bronze Age Scotland 
Andrew Meirion Jones

The Stranger King (Bull) and Rock art 
Michael Rowlands and Johan Ling

Trading images: exchange, transformation and identity in Valcamonica rock-art between the Bronze Age and the Iron Age 
Alberto Marretta

Carl Georg Brunius. A Pioneer in Swedish Petroglyph Research from the Early Nineteenth Century Jarl Nordbladh

The maritime factor in the distribution of Bronze Age rock art in Galicia 
Manuel Santos-Estévez and Alejandro Güimil-Fariña

The Alpine and Scandinavian Rock Art in the Bronze Age: a Common Cultural Matrix in a Web of Continental Influences
Umberto Sansoni

Rock-art as history Representations of human images in a historical perspective
Peter Skoglund

Sword-Wielders and Manslaughter. Recently Discovered Images on the Rock Carvings of Brastad, Western Sweden 
Andreas Toreld
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