This article is an attempt to demonstrate that the social and ritual context of the production of rock art is necessary and vital for the interpretation of rock art in general, and for the south Scandinavian rock carving tradition in particular. It deals with a single find of rock carvings from the Bronze Age barrow Sagaholm, from the town Jönköping in the southern parts of the contemporary Sweden (figure 2, page 24). In the paper I suggest and try to exemplify a more relational and metaphorical approach to the interpretation of rock art, where the wider social and cultural context is as vital as the rock art images itself. In this particular case it is suggested that the rock carvings in Sagaholm must be related to the time depth of the barrow and the time rhythm of the burial ritual as been suggested by Arnold van Gennep in his famous study Rites of passage. The stratigraphy of the barrow suggests that it was in the middle liminal and transitional phase of the burial ritual that the rock carvings were activated.
|Translated title of the contribution||Rock engravings, cosmology and burial ritual - revisiting the Sagaholm barrow, Småland, Sweden|
|Number of pages||32|
|Publication status||Published - 2000|