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.