Rock Art and the Prehistory of Atlantic Europe: Signing the Land

Synopsis

Along the Atlantic seaboard, from Scotland to Spain, are numerous rock carvings made four to five thousand years ago, whose interpretation poses a major challenge to the archaeologist.In the first full-length treatment of the subject, based largely on new field work, Richard Bradley argues that these carvings should be interpreted as a series of symbolic messages that are shared between monuments, artefacts and natural places in the landscape. He discusses the cultural setting of the rock carvings and the ways in which they can be interpreted in relation to ancient land use, the creation of ritual monuments and the burial of the dead. Integrating this fascinating yet little-known material into the mainstream of prehistoric studies, Richard Bradley demonstrates that these carvings played a fundamental role in the organization of the prehistoric landscape.

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