Landskap og helleristninger. En arkeologisk landskapsanalyse knyttet til distribusjonen av helleristninger i Onsøy, Fredrikstad
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This study analyses and discusses the distribution and placement of Bronze Age rock art localities in Onsøy, Fredrikstad. The preliminary focus is on the rock art localities’ relationship with the surrounding landscape, and how the distribution can be understood in relevance to the social life of Onsøy’s prehistoric population. The overall premise for this thesis is that rock art has emerged in a ritual or cosmological setting. However, the intent of the study is to present a deeper understanding of how rock art also represented an active social role in the prehistoric society of Onsøy. The study takes advantage of digital methods to investigate the rock art’s placement in the landscape, including predictive modelling, viewshed analysis, and cost-affordance analysis. By adding the two latter methods in addition to reconstructing the prehistoric landscape, a post-processual landscape view will be considered, focusing on perception. The results show that Bronze Age rock art is closely connected to the prehistoric coastline and communication paths in the landscape. The results also indicate that the localities in large are placed on low occurrences of bedrock, with low visibility in the holistic landscape. Therefore, I argue that the distribution of rock art localities in Onsøy can be seen as a manifestation of social memory, social identity and transmission of knowledge connected to prehistoric communication.