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The Relational Life of Trees. Ontological Aspects of “Tree-Ness” in the Early Bronze Age of Northern Europe

Fredrik Fahlander
Published Online: 2018-10-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2018-0024


During the Early Bronze Age in northern Europe, tree-like features appear in henges, burials, and rock art in ways that differ from earlier periods. Rather than investigating this phenomenon in symbolic or metaphorical terms, a concept of tree-ness is explored that focuses on the real constitution of trees and what trees actually do. It is suggested that the accentuation of tree-ness in Early Bronze Age ritual contexts can be related to an ontological shift in conjunction with emerging bronze technology in which different entities can merge or take advantage of each other’s generative properties.

Keywords: Bronze Age; trees; rock art; oak-coffin burial; henges


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About the article

Received: 2018-04-24

Accepted: 2018-09-09

Published Online: 2018-10-18

Published in Print: 2018-10-01

Citation Information: Open Archaeology, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 373–385, ISSN (Online) 2300-6560, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opar-2018-0024.

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© by Fredrik Fahlander, published by De Gruyter. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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