Nordic and Celtic: religion in southern Scandinavia during the late bronze age and early iron age
AbstractBy means of modern archeological research it is today possible to gain much information even from non-written material, This paper covers the late bronze age and early iron age, ca. 1000 B.C. —O. It is based on material from Denmark, the Southwest of Sweden, and the Southeast of Norway. This region formed a cultural unity since the sea bound the area together. Our main sources of knowledge of Nordic religion during this time span are votive offerings and rock-carvings. During the bronze age and early iron age the Nordic peasant population had intensive contacts with the Southeastern and Centralparts of Europe. A great quantity of imported objects bear evidence of widespread connections. The inhabitants of the Nordic area not only brought home objects, but also ideas and religious conceptions. This is clearly reflected in the iconography. The cultures with which connections were upheld and from which ideas were introduced were those of Hallstatt and La Tène. They were both Celtic iron age cultures prospering in Central Europe at the same time as the late bronze age and early iron age in the Nordic area. This means that the new symbols in the Nordic area come from a Celtic environment. Consequently, Celtic religion such as it may be found in the pre-Roman period, can clarify the meaning of the conceptions, linked with these symbols.
Copyright (c) 1990 Marianne Görman
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