Horses, Fish and Humans: Interspecies Relationships in the Nordic Bronze Age


  • Jacob Kveiborg Department of Archaeological Science and Conservation, Moesgaard Museum
  • Laura Ahlqvist Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Aarhus University,
  • Helle Vandkilde Department of Archaeology and Heritage Studies, Aarhus University,



human–animal–thing relationships, relational approach, ontology, cosmology


In this article, we identify and discuss Nordic Bronze Age interspecies relationships through a relational approach that is open to ontologies that differ from our own. Drawing on bronze objects, faunal remains and rock art recovered from a multitude of Nordic Bronze Age sites (1700–500 BC), we outline the complex evolution and interactions of significant socioeconomic and cosmological elements such as the horse, the sun, the warrior, the sea and fish, and their relationships to life and death. We suggest that these elements may be seen as interconnected parts of an entangled whole, which represents a specific Nordic Bronze Age cosmology, which developed between 1600 and 1400 BC, and combined local, archaic world views and foreign influences.


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How to Cite

Kveiborg, J., Ahlqvist, L. and Vandkilde, H. (2020) “Horses, Fish and Humans: Interspecies Relationships in the Nordic Bronze Age ”, Current Swedish Archaeology, 28(1), pp. 75–98. doi: 10.37718/CSA.2020.04.



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