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date: 08 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses several ways of rethinking cosmology in the Bronze Age using a north European perspective, and identifies two basic premises for studying human life-worlds using archaeological means, namely material culture and the immaterial world. Next, it shows how the craft of smiths in the Bronze Age was connected with cosmology and introduces the idea of a gift as ‘total prestation’, along with the use of gifts and counter gifts within the Bronze Age prestige goods systems. The article also determines that the cosmologies of the Bronze Age life-world were based on pragmatic ritualised practices, which were continuously repeated and recreated at certain times and occasions. It also suggests that rock art and offering can be seen as counter-gifts or as acts of emplacement.

Keywords: cosmology, north European perspective, human life-worlds, material culture, immaterial world, total prestation, prestige goods systems, ritualised practices, rock art, offering

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