jueves, 27 de marzo de 2014

Hard to walk in ancestral moccasins

Did Bronze Age people make petroglyphs to contact the underworld? Did they think their carvings of animals would help them in hunts? Or were they marking their territory? 

1/3. Footprint carvings from Järrestad in Skåne. (Photo: SHFA, Gerhard Milstreu)
Rock carvings of the soles of naked feet pairs are found in Järrestad in Skåne, southeastern Sweden. These were scraped into the rock some 2,500 years ago.

Feet are the only parts of the human body to be depicted in full size in Scandinavian rock carvings. Such particular petroglyphs are thus assumed to be closely linked to the persons whose feet are represented.
This is the contention of Associate Professor Peter Skoglund of Gothenburg University’s Department of Historical Studies, who has published a study of foot carvings in the Norwegian Archaeological Review.
Skoglund thinks these feet are carved into the rock as part of some ritual – perhaps to ceremoniously mark that a person was attaining a new role in the group. It could be a coming-of-age ritual akin to a confirmation or bar mitzvah.

“I think the rock carvings were elements of rituals. The foot carvings are probably linked to the body and the path of a life. On the other hand, images of boats can be linked to rituals involving the sea.”
Not all archaeologists agree. [...] sciencenordic.com/