University of Oulu

Karen Niskanen, Multi-scale spatial analysis of Neolithic pictographs at Astuvansalmi, Finland, Quaternary International, Volume 491, 2018, Pages 146-158, ISSN 1040-6182,

Multi-scale spatial analysis of Neolithic pictographs at Astuvansalmi, Finland

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Author: Niskanen, Karen1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 19.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2018
Publish Date: 2020-06-25


This paper considers and evaluates a landscape archaeology research framework which relies on methodologies of Visual Narrative Analysis (VNA) and spatial analysis to study rock art. The innovative approach in this case study is the use of multi-scale spatial analysis, first to examine the micro-scale visual narrative aspects of the images — e.g. composition, framing, panelling, and movement — and secondly, to map the macro-scale archaeological context. The case examined is the Middle Neolithic pictograph site on the cliffs at Astuvansalmi, in Ristiina, Finland. With approximately 60 painted images, the site is noteworthy as one of the largest rock painting sites in Northern Europe, listed as a tentative UNESCO World Heritage site since 1990. It is argued that there is a need to go beyond traditional ethnoarchaeological approaches with a systematic spatial analysis. This multi-scale spatial analysis offers an alternative approach which seeks a more complete and varied understanding of the archaeological landscape.

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Series: Quaternary international
ISSN: 1040-6182
ISSN-E: 1873-4553
ISSN-L: 1040-6182
Volume: 491
Pages: 146 - 158
DOI: 10.1016/j.quaint.2018.06.022
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 615 History and archaeology
Copyright information: © 2018. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license