The Nordic razor as a medium of creativity

Flemming Kaul (The National Museum of Denmark)

From a selected number of Scandinavian razors we shall try to explore the process of creativity or innovation in the religious art of the Bronze Age. Matters will be discussed such as: Is it possible to find certain periods or points where creativity is more pronounced than at other times? – Should stylization or abstraction be seen as a sort of regression in art, or rather as a matter of vivid creativity, and without loss of meaning? By some examples it would be shown that that there is seemingly no loss of meaning, even by the most pronounced stylization. It is possible to ‘read’ the stylized motifs in relation to their context. However, it may still be difficult to define a borderline between merely decorative elements and decoration with a meaning. Yet another matter will be discussed: Why was the razor the most prominent bearer of iconography in Late Bronze Age Scandinavia?