Cover Decided For My Upcoming Book

I've finalised the cover of my upcoming book with designer Bitte Granlund!

Cover image: detail of a rock-art panel at Hemsta in Boglösa, Uppland. An axe with its characteristic s-shaped haft, an incomplete ship and two cupmarks. According to Johan Ling, the panel’s ship types and the level above the sea indicate a date in Per. II, about 1400 cal BC. The closest known Early Bronze Age deposition site is Hjältängarna at Grop-Norrby in Vårfrukyrka, about 14 km to the NNW. An axe was deposited there a century or two after the Hemsta carvings were made. Photograph by Sven-Gunnar Broström.

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I've reported before [1 - 2] on the on-going discoveries in the Tjust area of NE SmÃ¥land province. Here Joakim Goldhahn is employing the country's best rock-art surveyors to work through an area that is turning out to be extraordinarily rich and diverse in Bronze Age petroglyphs. These years will…

Cool! What is the significance of cup marks (if anyone knows)?

By Charles P Redwine (not verified) on 14 Feb 2015 #permalink

We don't know about the cupmarks. Sometimes they form part of a picture, but mostly they just cluster on boulders and outcrops in great numbers, making them look like Swiss cheese. Many scholars compare them to rosaries: the important thing isn't to own a rosary but to say 50 Hail Marys, if you see what I mean. So a cupmark may be something you need to make many of, not something you need to own or look at.

(Going off on a tangent) -Having just read "The Ark Before Noah" I note the the similarity with proto-cuneiform pictographs.
( the similarity is inevitable, as the medium (stone) requires a simplified representation of the subject, while pictograms are required to be simple to be made quickly in large numbers)
It looks like whenever there is a demand for a filing system people will soon take the leap from pictures to abstract symbols.
On the other hand Scandinavians were fortunate there was no urbanisation, or aegean-style "palace system" as early (and later) civilisations were hard on the people at the bottom of the heap Better to be a free farmer than a serf.
Also, a society of farmers would have been isolated from the worst effects of the collapse of the aegean/near east bronze-age trade network two centuries later.

By BirgerJohansson (not verified) on 15 Feb 2015 #permalink

(OT, shootings)
A situation report from Sweden (and Copenhagen). This week, three neo-nazis got arrested outside the office of the Expressen newspaper, suspected of planning an attack.
During Saturday a crowd of 600 muslims and non-muslim Swedes created a “human chain” between a mosque and a church in Gothenburg to demonstrate solidarity.

Later in the afternoon the culture center in Copenhagen was hit by what appears to have been a “lone gunman”. Guards prevented him from entering but he fired a lot of rounds from the entrance. One visitor died, three policemen were wounded.
The perpetrator fled in a stolen car, dumped it and called for a cab using a cell phone (this may be what made it easy for the police to identify him).
A huge manhunt started in Copenhagen, extending to nearby Sweden.
Late in the evening, he made an apparently poorly planned /improvised attack on a jewish synagogue where a Bar Mitzva was underway. The place was guarded, and he was unable to enter. He fired his gun again and killed a man. Later/early morning, police managed to track him down. During the confrontaion he was shot to death.

Since the initial target seems to have been Lars Vilks, and since the murders took place so near Sweden this has caused a very big reaction here.

Sorry to go OT, I only forward this to help provide more english-language coverage of the events.

By BirgerJohansson (not verified) on 15 Feb 2015 #permalink

Hmm, my immediate reaction was that it was a crude depiction of two persons performing an indecent act lying on a skateboard. Is this in any way compatible with available research?

By Anders Myrin (not verified) on 16 Feb 2015 #permalink

That is a cutting-edge research insight! I must plagiarise it!

No, Anders, it is obviously a circus seal bouncing a ball with its nose.
The longer, bent line underneath is the fence lining the arena, below it we see a bench, and a spectator/ high priest.
Clearly, seals served the same function for ceremonial games in Scandinavia as bulls served in Knossos.

The seals would have served as stand-ins for the Deep Ones in the ceremonies intended to bring plentiful fish to the nets.

By BirgerJohansson (not verified) on 17 Feb 2015 #permalink

Did you hear the one about the penguin who had engine trouble when he was out driving in the sun one day? He called a mechanic and bought some ice cream. The mechanic arrived and said, "Looks like you've blown a seal, man". The penguin, wiping his beak, replied with an embarrassed smile, "No, hehe, it's just ice cream".

Your book looks very attractive :)
Is there more than the one example where deposits are connected to rock art sites?

The deposition sites are on average 1.8 km from a rock art site. They tend to be in wetlands where rock art at very close range is impossible.