Documentation and interpretation of Rock Art

Bachelor’s level
7.5 credits (ECTS)

In this education, we address issues related to sustainability. The content of the course or program fits into at least one of our 10 sustainability criteria. For you as a student, the sustainability label means guidance, quality assurance, and a guarantee that courses or programs contain a pronounced sustainability perspective.


The course introduces concepts and theories of rock art research and
cultural heritage management and provide the opportunity to experience
documentation methods firsthand. We will discuss questions and issues
surrounding rock art research, sustainable cultural heritage management,
and Bronze Age society. We will ask important questions about social
inequality, ecological sustainability, gender aspects, and conflict. The
methodological and theoretical aspects of rock art that will be
discussed include landscapes, distribution patterns, elevation models,
and shore displacement. This includes a strong focus on preserving
cultural heritage and the environment. Apart from introducing rock art
as a global heritage, the course will use the case of the rock art in
Tanum to discuss how to negotiate the requirements for protection of the
UNESCO world cultural heritage, the heritage of the recent past, and
nature within the concept of a "biological cultural heritage"
(biologiskt kulturarv) as envisioned by the Swedish National Heritage
Board. This will highlight the need to safeguard rock art by
implementing a plan for sustainable documentation, investigation, and
presentation, in order to educate society and future generations about
our shared human ancestry. This also includes concrete issues of
preserving, cultivating and making cultural heritage accessible in the
long term. An important challenge is how to prevent the weathering
process of the rock carvings, resulting from acidification, increased
visitor pressure, and ongoing climate change. The students will also
gain a basic insight into institutions involved in rock art research
like the Swedish Rock Art Research Archives.

This course is part of GU’s Summer School for Sustainability, which is based on Agenda 2030 and global sustainability goals. During an educational and inspiring summer month, you acquire international experience without leaving Sweden. You will have the opportunity to take this course, which extends over 4 four weeks and is offered in English, and participate in a broad program of activities, all with a focus on sustainable development.

Prerequisites and selection


Must have attended at least one university course.