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Johan Ling, Associate Professor, archaeology

Johan Ling (PhD) (University of Gothenburg) is a researcher and lecturer at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient History in Gothenburg. Johan has primarily worked with rock art, landscape and shore displacement in Bohuslän , as detailed in his recently published dissertation “Elevated Rock Art, Towards a Maritime Understanding of Rock Art in Bohuslän”. From next year Ling will be in charge for the VR project; Extraction of copper in Sweden during the Bronze Age? Possibility, myth or reality? This project’s essential purpose is to further the discussion as to whether copper was extracted locally or imported to Sweden during the Bronze Age. The project’s aim is to use lead isotope analyses of local bronze items and compare them with similar analyses of copper ores from Dalsland, Värmland och Småland in Sweden (SGU 1986, Åhäll 1993, Janzon 1984) with a view to evaluating and modifying the theories about the import or local extraction of copper in Sweden during the Bronze Age. This is the first project in Scandinavia to undertake basic research of this kind. Johan is also in charge of the Tossene Project, whose aim is to further our understanding of the role played by the rock art in Northern Bohuslän in prehistory, and to try to show a chronological link between rock carvings and excavated artifacts.

Johan Ling Ph.D. Göteborgs universitet, has now taken over one of the rock art research posts that Göteborg University has been granted funding for from Kungliga Vitterjetsakademien and Riksbankens Juvileumsfond. The position is scheduled for five years and the goal is to strengthen rock art research in a long term perspective with the Swedish Rock Art Research Archives as starting-point.

The aim of J.Ling´s research at SHFA is to compile and compare existing rock art documentation from SHFAs archive. The focus of this study lies on rock art images representing “metal” and “mobility” and thereby discuss concepts and issues such as Mobility, Antagonism, Agency, Warriorhood, Cosmology, Hard Materials Corporal Performance, Causation, Interaction and Transformation. A key element will be to problematize the representation of the bronzes in relation to bodily actions and bodily performances on the figurative rock art. Other important aims are to determine whether a correlation exists between regional rock art figuratives and regional bronze items, to analyse the rock art in relation to the Bronze Age “metal routes”, and discuss how external commodities, ideas and their symbolism have been transformed, on the rocks, into regional social and ideological needs. New metal analyses clearly show that the copper from the Scandinavian items diverges greatly from Scandinavian copper ores and that the copper must have been imported from the European continent. This fact opens up for a new discussion regarding praxis of pecking images of “metal and mobility” on the Scandinavian rocks during the Bronze Age.














bild av Johan Ling


Johan Ling

Box 200, 405 30 GÖTEBORG,

031-786 29 74

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