Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New interpretations of the Stone Age landscape in Sweden's Falbygden

Date:
October 18, 2010
Source:
University of Gothenburg
Summary:
The Falbygden area of central Västergötland in southwestern Sweden is home to one of northern Europe's greatest concentrations of megalithic graves from the New Stone Age (approx. 4000-1500 BC). New research now shows that these "passage graves" were not designed to be visible across wide areas -- instead they seem to be almost hidden within the landscape.

The passage graves of Falbygden do not seem to have been designed to be seen from great distances, new research shows.
Credit: Photo by Peter Jankavs/Falbygden Museum

The Falbygden area of central Västergötland in southwestern Sweden is home to one of northern Europe's greatest concentrations of megalithic graves from the New Stone Age (approx. 4000-1500 BC). A new archaeology thesis from the University of Gothenburg now shows that these "passage graves" were not designed to be visible across wide areas -- instead they seem to be almost hidden within the landscape.

Related Articles


Tony Axelsson, doctoral student and archaeologist at the Västergötland Museum, has investigated what the Stone Age landscape in Falbygden actually looked like, and how the people of the time related to their surroundings.

Using a geographical information system (GIS) into which he entered relics in the form of passage graves, settlements and stray finds, he has been able to produce digital maps of the prehistoric landscape. His analyses reveal, among other things, that the passage graves do not seem to have been designed to be seen from great distances.

"I don't believe that the passage graves were built to take control of the landscape, to make it less dangerous, or as a conscious effort to tame it, that as soon as a grave was built the landscape seemed safe," says Axelsson.

Another clear pattern he has discovered is how the immediate vicinity of the passage graves is largely empty of traces of human activity in the form of known finds such as amber, flint and animal bones.

"The conclusion is that settlements and passage graves were kept apart from one another -- there was some kind of spatial separation."

Axelsson's thesis also discusses archaeological interpretation models. He argues in favour of landscape archaeology moving away from visualised landscapes in favour of living landscapes.

"By hypothetically characterising the landscape and using descriptive verbs and adjectives such as dangerous, boring or beautiful, it is possible to discuss how complex and diverse a landscape is," he explains. "This kind of approach is often lacking in current archaeology. Our perception of a landscape does not come solely from visual impressions, but also through our other senses and, not least, mental imagery."

The thesis has been successfully defended.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Gothenburg. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Gothenburg. "New interpretations of the Stone Age landscape in Sweden's Falbygden." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018074542.htm>.
University of Gothenburg. (2010, October 18). New interpretations of the Stone Age landscape in Sweden's Falbygden. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018074542.htm
University of Gothenburg. "New interpretations of the Stone Age landscape in Sweden's Falbygden." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101018074542.htm (accessed December 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, December 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

Raw: Lava Inches Closer to Highway

AP (Dec. 21, 2014) — Officials have opened a new road on Hawaii's Big Island for drivers to take care of their daily needs if encroaching lava from Kilauea Volcano crosses a highway and cuts them off from the rest of the island. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

Raw: Scuba Diving Santa Off Florida Keys

AP (Dec. 20, 2014) — A scuba diving Santa Claus explored the waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Dive shop owner Spencer Slate makes the dive each year to help raise money for charity. (Dec. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

Obama: Better Ways to Create Jobs Than Keystone Pipeline

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) — US President Barack Obama says that construction of the Keystone pipeline would have 'very little impact' on US gas prices and believes there are 'more direct ways' to create construction jobs. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) — Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins