On the Chronology and Use of Hunter-Gatherer: Rock Painting Sites in Northern Europe
Joakim Goldhahn [+]
The University of Western Australia
This article discusses the chronology and use of hunter-gatherer rock painting sites in northern Europe from an archaeological perspective, using formal methods. Until recently, the dating of different rock painting traditions has been based on comparative analyses of style and shore displacement data from various areas in northern Europe. During the last few decades, however, several rock painting sites have been excavated. Each of these excavations has produced a variety of answers and questions, but no attempt has yet been made to analyse and interpret the entire assemblages. This article aims to initiate such a discussion. As such, it focuses on available radiocarbon analyses, the deposition of organic material, and material culture. It is argued that there are several distinct patterns in the analysed material, defined here as four time horizons, stretching from ca. 4400 BC to the early modern period. It is suggested that there is more than one way to interpret these horizons.