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date: 23 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a long-term perspective on rock art in northern Europe. It first provides an overview of research on the rock art traditions of northern Europe before discussing the societies and cultures that created such traditions. It then considers examples of rock art made by hunter-gatherer societies in northern Europe, focusing on the first rock art boom related to Neolithization. It also examines the second rock art boom, which was associated with social and religious changes within farming communities that took place around 1600–1400 bc. The chapter concludes by analysing the breakdown of long-distance networks in the transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age and its consequences for the making of rock art within the southern traditions, as well as the use of rock art sites during the Pre-Roman Iron Age, Roman Iron Age, and Migration Period.

Keywords: rock art, northern Europe, hunter-gatherer societies, rock art boom, Neolithisation, farming, long-distance networks, Bronze Age, Iron Age, rock art sites

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