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Egeler, Matthias (2016): The Hunt and the Otherworld: A Breton Reading of the Massleberg Stora Skee Rock Art Panel (Bohuslän, Southern Sweden). In: Numen-international Review for the History of Religions, Vol. 63, No. 4: pp. 383-410
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Abstract

Taking its starting point from the current trend towards using Indo-European comparative material for elucidating Scandinavian Bronze Age rock art sites, this article develops an interpretation of the overall iconographic program of the Massleberg Stora Skee rock art panel in Bohuslan, southern Sweden. It focuses on the hunting scene which forms one of the centerpieces of the site and poses the question of how this hunting scene relates to the remaining iconographic elements of the panel, especially the ships and footprints, and to the water flowing over the rock. Using analogies drawn from Old French "Breton lays," medieval Irish and Welsh literature, and the archaeology of the Hallstatt period (the Strettweg cult wagon), it is possible to develop an interpretation which connects the hunt with the communication between the human world and an "Otherworld" and to show how such an interpretation can tie in with the other iconographic as well as natural elements of the site. On this basis, the article concludes with a general discussion of the use of typological analogies versus the application of concepts of Indo-European heritage for the analysis of Scandinavian rock art and discusses the wider applicability of the "Otherworld" term as an analytical concept.