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Prehistoric pictographs of Finland: Symbolism and territoriality
- Niskanen, Karen
- Quaternary international 2019 v.503 pp. 273-284
- cultural landscape, geographic information systems, information exchange, models, monuments, territoriality, watersheds, Finland
- Transformation of landscape with symbolic art does not only mark a space as sacred. Such demarcations also serve as symbols of other social functions, such as the delineation of territories and exchange of information. As enduring monuments to the past, they symbolise a territory of time; as part of a cultural landscape, they symbolise a territory of space. A distributional study of evidence of symbolic territoriality in the landscapes of three rock art sites from the Neolithic – Early Metal periods in Finland, this work utilises GIS spatial analysis to locate prehistoric dwelling sites and sacred sites (red ochre burials, cairn burials, cremation burials, and cup-stones) within 5 and 10 km catchment zones of the pictographs sites. The results are interpreted with explanatory models from Information Exchange Theory and territorial analysis.