chapter  10
18 Pages

Land of Elks – Sea of Whales: Landscapes of the Stone Age Rock-Art in Central Scandinavia


During the last decades landscape studies have become an important part of archaeology and of rock-art studies. For some rock-art sites in Scandinavia, topography and subjectmatter were the main arguments for identifying sites as made by Stone Age hunters, especially for the site at Vingen in Nordfjord, western Norway in an area especially rich in red deer, which traditionally were chased over the cliffs (Bing 1912). This hunters’ rock-art in general has been dated to the Stone Age. Similarly, the location of Bronze Age rock-art in and/or near cultivated land was used in interpreting this rock-art as evidence of fertility rituals (see Marstrander 1963: 256). In the 1970s Gro Mandt Larsen pioneered more profound studies of the location of the Bronze Age rock-art within the landscape (Mandt Larsen 1972; Mandt 1978), followed by other scholars (Bertilsson 1987; Kjellén and Hyenstrand 1977; Sognnes 1983). Later the Stone Age rock-art was brought into this discourse (Ramqvist 1992; Sognnes 1992, 1994).