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Size matters: hyperbolism in south scandinavian rock art
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Archaeology.
2019 (English)In: Fennoscandia Archaeologica, ISSN 0781-7126, Vol. 36, p. 53-67Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This text discusses aspects of hyperbolism in south Scandinavian rock art as a particular mode of material articulation. In the Late Bronze Age (900-500 BC), a limited number of extraordinary large-scale motifs begin to appear on the rocks. This hyperbolic mode is generally restricted to anthropomorphs, boats and encircling motifs up to ten times the normal size. The phenomenon is represented at most of the major rock art clusters of southern Scandinavia (Trøndelag, Østfold, Tanum, Scania, Norrköping, and Uppland), and is here examined in detail through a case study of the Boglösa area of central-eastern Sweden. It can be shown that the increased size does not add detail to the motifs; the images are basically enlarged versions of pre-existing motifs. It is argued that the enlargement of certain motifs is not primarily about symbolic representation or increased visibility but is related to a function of the petroglyphs as magical devices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 36, p. 53-67
Keywords [en]
Bronze Age, hyperbolism, magic, material articulation, rock art, size
National Category
Archaeology
Research subject
Archaeology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-175981OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-175981DiVA, id: diva2:1384549
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, P16-0195:1Available from: 2020-01-10 Created: 2020-01-10 Last updated: 2020-01-13

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