War related social and ritual traits in Rock Art

Author(s): Johan Ling

Year: 2015


War related social and ritual traits are common features in European Bronze Age rock art and native North American rock art. There are some general similarities in the material that needs to be stressed between the North American images and those from Bronze Age Europe, fighters depicted with spears and shields etc. This resemblance speaks of how far un-connected human groups may build similar imageries, given only a set of rather superficial social similarities in general terms. Moreover, the striking resemblance between the figurative depictions of armed humans and weaponry on the stelae of Iberia, dated to Late Bronze Age, and Scandinavian rock art is also important in this context. Most scholars seems to agree about that the Bronze Age in parts of Europe was an unstable period characterized by conflicts and constraints and that small-scale raiding and warfare was a common feature. This is also the case for some of the societies that produced the North American Rock art. This indicates that the rock art was neither a mere depiction of an ideal cosmology nor a mere religious declaration, but also a vehicle for projections and conceptions arising from tensions in the real social world.

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Cite this Record

War related social and ritual traits in Rock Art. Johan Ling. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397142)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;