This article presents some thoughts on the emergence of the archaeological science in the 18th century. My starting point is the debate that occurred in the wake of the discovery of rock art in the famous Bronze Age cairn Bredarör on Kivik in Scania, southern Sweden. Here we find one of the first documented attempts to formulate an archaeological method based on the study of prehistory without explicit support from historical sources – a brave attempt ‘to let mute stones speak’. The authors of this attempt, Anders Forssenius and Sven Lagerbring, introduced an innovative comparative dating method and a novel use of distribution maps. Either way, this bold attempt to formulate a free-standing archaeological method for the study of prehistory did not attain any direct followers, and it was several decades before these methods were revisited again.
|Title of host publication||Giving the past a future|
|Subtitle of host publication||Essays in archaeology and rock art studies in honour of Dr. fil. h.c. Gerhard Milstreu|
|Editors||James Dodd, Ellen Meije|
|Place of Publication||Oxford, UK|
|Number of pages||31|
|Publication status||Published - 2018|