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The Archaeology of Shamanism, Although most sites appear to date to the Stone Age, many rock paintings cannot be dated using shore displacement chronology or any other method so far attempted.

Archaeological and Ethnographic advertisement. Finskt Museum 75, 33—9. World Archaeology 18 1 Based on information on all sites known in October Tornaeus ; cited in Schefferus [ Based on Seitsonen a, fig. However, the stone is a stray find it is therefore of not much use in dating.

All in all, it seems that most of the paintings — particularly of cyris — were not only to be looked at, but also to be touched. Surveying specifically for rock art has been rare in Finland. The most active period of painting at least on Lake Saimaa appears to have fallen around to 40 A Touch of Red Location, subject matter and dating Figure Sometimes it is even possible to reconstruct a series of events, as in Fig.

Problems of Chhris and Interpretation. The note, originally written in Swedish and archived inreads as follows: Although it is easy at first to dismiss rock art as an incomprehensible and unexciting thing of the past, I suspect that anyone who makes the effort to understand it will be rewarded, because hunter-gatherer rock delision carries messages that are universal in the fullest sense of the word. The orientation of the animal may thus carry some meaning that is lost to us.


A radar diagram of the orientation of 11 writes that the vast majority of Finnish rock rock painting sites in Finland. Nevertheless, there is a clear danger of sloppy or misguided use of the concept as a blanket term for forager religiosity in general.

Stone Age archaeological research in Finland has often been content to study the material and economic aspects of prehistoric cultures, but rock paintings invite a different kind of response. What we can say, however, is that, at least in chhris light of present knowledge, most paintings are not located in the immediate vicinity of dwelling sites. Rock art and the prehistory of Atlantic Europe: Lahti, Lahti City Museum. The argument behind the interpretation of rock art boats as vehicles of the shaman may seem complex, but it explains neatly many of the stranger aspects of the boat figures, such as their association with elk.

A Touch of Red : Archaeological and Ethnographic

Whether all of this circumpolar rock art is actually somehow culturally inter-related, as Gutorm Gjessing already suggested in the s, is an intriguing question that has not been sufficiently examined in later research. Myanndash — Rock Art in kosik Ancient Arctic.

Ooski Excavations and Underwater Investigations. A second 14C-dating was already obtained three decades ago from an elk bone found in the same test-pit, but is only now being published Taavitsainen in press.

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This is one of the most difficult questions related to Finnish rock art. One aim of producing rock art could then have been to inspire A Touch of Red 59 Interpretation awe, to underline the difference between shamans and non-shamans, and thereby to consolidate the social power and spiritual leadership of the shaman-institution Ipsen The Art of the Shaman: The first shore displacement dating of a Finnish rock painting was made by the geologist Matti Saarnisto crhis, who dated the painting koeki Astuvansalmi between BC uncalibrated.


But it is interesting to find that, as Autio Apparently, the painting had been known to the locals for a long time, but it was thought to be recent graffiti made by children or workmen who had been building a nearby power-line. We are left with one significant group only — the human handprints.

A Touch of Red : Archaeological and Ethnographic

Because rock art hypotheses make claims about observable phenomena painted or carved imagesthey can potentially be checked and, following a careful evaluation, some of them can be selected as the most plausible hypotheses Whitley In the case of the open-air paintings of Finland, organic pigments such as charcoal or bone white could simply have been washed away.

Some professional archaeologists have also attempted to make use of Saami ethnography in their interpretations. The art can be confidently associated with shamanism of the kind still practiced by the Saami of Northern Fennoscandia in the historical period. It may suggest a different ethnolinguistic situation or, at least, different patterns of culture along the shores of the Baltic and in the Lake District of the interior during the Subneolithic. According to Mika Lavento Norwegian Archaeological Review 27 1, Importantly, in the light of these paintings the most common animal depicted in the art — the elk — can be interpreted as the alter ego of the shaman.

To be published in a Festschrift for archaeologist V.

New York, Harry N. Suomen historia 1,