Changing Pictures: Rock Art Traditions and Visions in the Northernmost Europe [Paperback]

Joakim Goldhahn (Editor); Ingrid Fuglestvedt (Editor); Andrew Meirion Jones (Editor)

ISBN: 9781842174050 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2010 | Language: English 272p, H279 x W381 (mm) 159 b/w & colour illus, 2 tables

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Changing Pictures


This volume derives from a workshop held at the University of Kalmar (now Linnaeus University), Sweden between the 20-24 of October 2008. The aim of this gathering was to provide a forum for rock art researchers from different parts of northern Europe to discuss traditional as well as current interpretative trends within rock art research.

Changing Pictures aims to return to traditional interpretative notions regarding the meaning and significance of rock art to investigate if and why any information had been left behind to recover and rethink. During the last decades, there has been an immense global interest among archaeologists and anthropologists in studying rock art. Research in northern Europe, as elsewhere, has intensely explored a manifold of methodological and theoretical perspectives. Most of these studies however, have been published in languages that seldom reach beyond the native speakers of Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish, Russian or Finnish. Therefore an important motivation for this volume is to try to apprise some of the current movements within this field of research and present it for an international audience.

These papers explore the relevance of older ideas, such as notions about prehistoric religion, ritual performance, sympathetic magic, animism and totemism, the mindscapes of landscapes etc., as well as the present "state of the art" in order to develop a broader understanding of the phenomenon we call rock art. This aspiration can be seen as a common thread linking the different chapters in this book. Saying that, some, if not all, of the articles presented in this volume challenge the notion "rock art" itself, arguing that sometimes the rock, the "canvas" and rather intangible but equally important sensual encounters, such as sound, echoes, touch and temporal phenomenological changes and the perception of decorated rock art panels, should be regarded, at least, as important as the "art" itself.

By reassessing traditional approaches to Scandinavian rock art and creatively reworking these ideas, whilst also addressing significant new concepts such as the agency of rock and the performativity of rock art, this anthology of papers offers not only a snapshot of current debates, but also reflects pivotal changes in the study of rock art.

Table of Contents

1. Changing Pictures – an introduction (Joakim Goldhahn, Ingrid Fuglestvedt and Andy Jones)
2. Animals, ‘Churingas’ and rock art in Late Mesolithic Northern Scandinavia (Ingrid Fuglestvedt)
3. Concepts of Rock in Late Mesolithic Western Norway (Trond Lødøen)
4. Hearing and touching rock art: Finnish rock paintings and the non-visual (Antti Lahelma)
5. The known yet unknown ringing stones of Sweden (Maja Hultman)
6. Rock art as social format (Johan Ling and Per Cornell)
7. Rock art and the meaning of place – some phenomenological reflections (Magnus Ljunge)
8. Emplacement and the hau of rock art (Joakim Goldhahn)
9. Cosmology and performance – narrative perspectives on Scandinavian rock art (Peter Skoglund)
10. “Should I stay or should I go” – on the meaning of variations among mobile and stable elk motifs at Nämforsen, Sweden (Ylva Sjöstrand)
11. Reused rock art: Iron Age activities at Bronze Age rock art sites (Per Nilsson)
12. “Cracking” landscapes: new documentation – new knowledge? (Jan Magne Gjerde)
13. Bronze Age rock art and religion in a maritime perspective (Melanie Wrigglesworth)
14. An epilogue (Richard Bradley)

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