Along the Atlantic seaboard, from Scotland to Spain, are numerous rock carvings made four to five thousand years ago, whose interpretation poses a major challenge to the archaeologist.
In the first full-length treatment of the subject, based largely on new fieldwork, Richard Bradley argues that these carvings should be interpreted as a series of symbolic messages that are shared between monuments, artefacts and natural places in the landscape. He discusses the cultural setting of the rock carvings and the ways in which they can be interpreted in relation to ancient land use, the creation of ritual monuments and the burial of the dead. Integrating this fascinating yet little-known material into the mainstream of prehistoric studies, Richard Bradley demonstrates that these carvings played a fundamental role in the organization of the prehistoric landscape.
Richard Bradley is Professor of Archaeology at the University of Reading. He is the author of many works on prehistoric archaeology, including The Social Foundations of Prehistoric Britain, Altering the Earth and co-author of Landscape, Monuments and Society.
'Rock Art and the Prehistory of Atlantic Europe is essential reading for those with the remotest interest in this most enigmatic area of prehistory, and comes very highly recommended.' - 3rd Stone