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Johan Ling


Johan Ling
+46 31 786 2974

Room number: 1405
Postal Address: Box 200, 40530 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Eklandagatan 86, plan 4 , 41261 Göteborg

Department of Historical Studies (More Information)
Box 200
405 30 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Eklandagatan 86 , 412 61 Göteborg

About Johan Ling

Johan Ling is a professor, director and lecturer at the Department of Historical studies, at the University of Gothenburg. Professor Ling is a specialist in the Bronze Age archaeology with experience in leading large international research teams. His interdisciplinary publication profile includes provenancing of ancient metal, dating and interpreting Scandinavian Rock art, and Bronze Age maritime trade. Ling’s main internationally-recognized contribution is in the field of provenance studies of ancient metals, with a second established record of expertise in the dating and interpreting Scandinavian Rock Art. Ling has built up the first major platform and a team of researchers for provenancing ancient copper alloys in Scandinavia. Hitherto, 400 artefacts have been analyzed (Ling et. al 2013; 2014; Melheim et al. 2018, Ling et. al 2019). Ling’s contributions to our understanding of the sources and trade of copper during the Bronze Age has set a new research agenda, through his research focusing on the maritime dimensions of Bronze Age trade (Ling et al. 2017, Ling et al. 2018). His contributions in this field of research move significantly beyond the state of the art.

Prof. Ling is also director of the Rock Art Research Archives (SHFA)( connected to the Dep of Historical studies, university of Gothenburg. SHFA's activities span several different areas and can be summarized according to the following layout.
• SHFA is the only national research infrastructure that is responsible for research, documentation and training of rock carvings in Sweden.
• SHFA aims to digitize, present and archive the rock carvings for researchers and the general public. At present there are about 120,000 files with images and documents scanned in SHFA's image and archive databases on rock carvings from all over Sweden but also Denmark, Italy and Norway. (see also
• In collaboration with the Center for Digital Humanities and Chalmers, SHFA has a rather advanced project that focuses on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning of rock carving documentation.
• SHFA collaborates with a number of national and international infrastructures, research groups and non-academic organizations.
In summary, Professor Lings profile is exemplary in combining methodological mastery of the most recent and advanced techniques in both rock art 3D documentation and cutting-edge metallurgical analyses of bronzes and through years of collaborative research on metals provenance and rock art, he has assembled an outstanding international team of specialists and consultants



Latest publications

Moving metals IV: Swords, metal sources and trade networks in Bronze Age Europe
Johan Ling, Eva Hjärthner-Holdar, Lena Grandin, Zofia Stos-Gale, Kristian Kristiansen et al.
Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports , Journal article 2019
Journal article

The Provenance, Use, and Circulation of Metals in the European Bronze Age: The State of Debate
Miljana Radivojević, Benjamin W. Roberts, Ernst Pernicka, Zofia Stos-Gale, Marcos Martinón-Torres et al.
Journal of Archaeological Research, Journal article 2019
Journal article

The role of pre-Norsemen in trade and exchange of commodities in Bronze Age Europe
Anne Lene Melheim, Johan Ling, Zofia Stos-Gale, Eva Hjärthner-Holdar, Lena Grandin
Metals, minds and mobility : integrating scientific data with archaeological theory / edited by Xosé-Lois Armada, Mercedes Murillo-Barroso, Mike Charlton., Oxford, Oxbow books, Chapter in book 2019
Chapter in book

A triangular Middle Bronze Age trade system of amber, copper and tin 1500‑1300 BC
Kristian Kristiansen, Johan Ling
In Bakels, C.C., Q.P.J. Bourgeois, D.R. Fontijn and R. Jansen (eds) 2018. Local Communities in the Big World of Prehistoric Northwest Europe, Leiden, Sidestone Press, Chapter in book 2018
Chapter in book

Rock Art, Secret Societies, Long-Distance Exchange and Warfare in Bronze Age Scandinavia
Johan Ling, Richard Chacon, Yamilette Chacon
Prehistoric warfare and violence : quantitative and qualitative approaches / Andrea Dolfini, Rachel J. Crellin, Christian Horn, Marion Uckelmann, editors., Cham, Springer International Publishing, Chapter in book 2018
Chapter in book

A sea beyond Europe to the north and west.
Johan Ling, John Koch
Giving the past a future : essays in archaeology and rock art ; studies in honour of Dr. Phil. h.c. Gerhard Milstreu / edited by James Dodd and Ellen Meijer., Oxford, Archaeopress Publishing Ltd, Chapter in book 2018
Chapter in book

Moving metals III: Possible origins for copper in Bronze Age Denmark based on lead isotopes and geochemistry
L. Melheim, L. Grandin, P. O. Persson, K. Billström, Zofia Stos-Gale et al.
Journal of Archaeological Science, Journal article 2018
Journal article

The Kivik tomb: Bredarör enters into the digital arena - documented with OLS, SfM and RTI
Ulf Bertilsson, Johan Ling, Catarina Bertilsson, Richard Potter, Christian Horn
New Perspectives on the Bronze Age : proceedings of the 13th Nordic Bronze Age Symposium held in Gothenburg 9th to 13th June 2015 / edited by Sophie Bergerbrant and Anna Wessman, Oxford, Archaeopress, Conference paper 2017
Conference paper

Showing 11 - 20 of 58


Maritime warfare in Scandinavian rock art.
Johan Ling, Andreas Toreld
Warfare in Bronze Age society / edited by Christian Horn, Kristian Kristiansen , New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, Chapter in book 2017
Chapter in book

Bronze Economy and Mode of Production. The role of Comparative Advantages in Temperate Europe During the Bronze Age
Johan Ling, Per Cornell, Kristian Kristiansen
Modes of Production in Archaeology / edited by Robert M. Rosenswig and Jerimy J. Cunningham., Gainesville, FL, University Press of Florida, Chapter in book 2017
Chapter in book

Violence, Warriors, and Rock Art in Bronze Age Scandinavia.
Johan Ling, Per Cornell
Feast, famine or fighting? : multiple pathways to social complexity / Richard J. Chacon and Rubén G. Mendoza, editors., Cham, Springer International Publishing , Chapter in book 2017
Chapter in book


Long-term Cosmological Interconnectedness and Long-distance Trade: Cosmology and Comparative Advantage in the Bronze Age and Beyond.
Rowlands Michael, Johan Ling
Perspectives on Past Colonisation, Maritime Interaction and Cultural Integration / edited by Lene Melheim, Hakon Glorstad, Zanette Tsigaridas Glorstad , Sheffield, UK, Equinox Publishing, , Chapter in book 2016
Chapter in book

Rock Art Studies in the Nordic Countries 2010-2014
Ulf Bertilsson, Johan Ling
Rock Art Studies: News of the World V / edited by Paul Bahn, Natalie Franklin, Matthias Strecker and Ekaterina Devlet, Oxford, Archeopress Publishing LTD, Chapter in book 2016
Chapter in book


Krieger und Felskunst im bronzezeitlichen Skandinavien
Johan Ling, Per Cornell
Krieg. Eine Archäologische Spurensuche. Harald Meller; Michael Schefzik (red.), Darmstadt, Konrad Theiss, Chapter in book 2015
Chapter in book

Picturing the Bronze Age – an introduction
Johan Ling, Peter Skoglund, Ulf Bertilsson
Picturing the Bronze Age / edited by Peter Skoglund, Johan Ling and Ulf Bertilsson, Oxford, Oxbow, Chapter in book 2015
Chapter in book

The Stranger King & Rock Art
Johan Ling, Rowlands Michael
Picturing the Bronze Age / edited by Peter Skoglund, Johan Ling and Ulf Bertilsson, Oxford, Oxbow Books , Chapter in book 2015
Chapter in book

Showing 11 - 20 of 58

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