31 December 2006

Rock Art News

Hi Folks, Found this blog on the web run by "Rock Art News". I don't know who he/she/they is/are but there is an amazing lot of news from all corners of the world. It could well be the collection blog of StonePages or so. Here's the link.....Enjoy! Rock Art News Cheers, Jan

13 December 2006

Northern Lights

Last weekend, and the weekend before, saw the all too short run of an installation art piece at Simonside, Northumerland. The work was comissioned as part of the 50th Birthday of the Northumberland National Park. Artist Phil Supple used a series of rock art inspired light sculptures (such as the one below based on motifs at Ketley Crag) to illuminate a trail leading to a view of the north west crags of Simonside, wonderfully lit by projections of Cup and Ring motifs based on Stan's drawings.

Andy managed to make a dash up there to provide background information on rock art to those taking part in one of the organised walks from the bottom of the ill to the summit. (Despite having been given dodgy directions and very short notice due to a case of projectile vomiting babies in the house of Hob)

Despite having looked forward to the event for weeks, I thought I wasn't going to be able to get there, but was luckily given the chance to get up there for the last half hour of the lights. It was pretty darned good to see these motifs projected onto a surface I know is a prominent feature of the views of many of Northumberland's RA and other monuments.

Despite waht the promotional leaflet had inferred, there was no light show at Lordenshaw, so as part of the evening, my associates and I paid a nocturnal visit to the main panel and waved some torches at it. I regret the lack of a tripod, as the moon rose a lovely shade of orangey-red.

Possibly they'll do something similar next year, but probably at a different site.

Well done Northumberland National Park and Mr Supple. It was much appreciated.

11 December 2006

West Yorks Rock Art book now on CD

I spoke to Keith Boughey last week and he said the Rock Art of West Yorkshire book is now completely sold out. However the publishers (WYAS) have decided to put the book onto a CD and i think its for sale at the same price as the book (£14.00?) . So at least it is still available in some format. Keith has also put his own 'update' CD together (£5?) with details of some significant finds that have come to light since the book was published. Contact details for the publishers at http://www.arch.wyjs.org.uk/aspubl.htm

04 December 2006

incised rocks

Here's some eg's of the incised rocks from the Glentarf area , as they don't necessarily have any conventional rock art on them they have not been put on BRAC .

02 December 2006

Sir James on E-Bay

Not an every day's offer on Ebay! Look at that cover; the best X-mas present ever.

01 December 2006

What lays beneath?

Here's a link to some 'neolithic' marked stones found near Boston Spa ( just down the road from me). They were buried in pits in a field overlooking the river Wharfe. Best to follow the pages for the 2004 dig to get an idea of the context. http://www.bsparch.org.uk/excavations_pit_aligns.htm Not your conventional cup and ring rock art but there are other examples of rocks with linear markings (Hinderwell beacon etc) and it seems to have been another way of marking rocks way back then. When i see these kinds of marks i am reminded of the ritual practice of 'cutting' the rock/stone as found among the indigenous Australians

26 November 2006

Any thoughts?

Hi Folks, Went walking over Blackmyre moor yesterday, rather than trying to find something i knew about, i was looking for new carvings. I spotted this really nice rock, it is covered in depressions, almost certainly natural.I do think that perhaps this rock did have carvings at sometime, perhaps before natural effects took their toll. I say this mainly because of the place the rock is situated. We have a burn on either side of the rock, a burn behind which flows through the moor and on into both the burns to the sides. It also has a 360 degree around the rock, from where you look to the sea, to Glenquicken, to Cambret Hill, Cairnharrow and Cairnholy. I would think there can be few other idealy placed rocks for carvings, especially in Galloway.Also take into account the panel that is in the Stewartry museum which came from Blackmyre farm, then this area is ideal.

19 November 2006

Internet Explorer 7 & RCAHMS

Hi Folks, Just wondering if anyone else has downloaded IE7?.. I have and quite like it, though it does seem to have a few problems when you try and use Canmore. I can access the area i want, but looking at details, or zooming in, just does not work. Let me kow if anyone else has tried IE7 and RCAHMS. cheers Brian

14 November 2006

BAA 2006 Award for NRA/BA

Hi Folks, Here's the charter of the BAA 2006 award won by Newcastle University. A well deserved recognition for the whole team! Our congratulations! Cheers, Jan

09 November 2006

Alaskan Spirals

More petroglyphic tomfoolery from the Tlingit in Alaska, 3-8k years old apparently: Nice spirals, crap names for beaches:
http://www.wrangell.com/visitors/attractions/history/petroglyph/index.html
http://www.hickerphoto.com/petroglyph-beach-wrangell-3745-pictures.htm
cup & rings, they're fish eyes ah tell the!!

07 November 2006

Burial cairns as rock-art symbols?

here's a link to an interesting picture of the cairn field at Joelahtme in Estonia http://www.sea.ee/lehed/eci/east.html It might seem a long way away but Knox noted a remarkably similar site near Ravenscar on the North York Moors before it was destroyed in the early 1800's. Note also some details about the cup marked sliding stone at Kostivere- where sliding bare bottomed down the stone could help get a woman pregnant. http://www.rebala.ee/en/?Places_of_interest:Sliding_cultstone Mr Fitz said he used to slide down a large sloping rock at the Wainstones when he was a lad ......hmmmm

02 November 2006

UK's most southerly example of RA?

Just having a surf around and came across this http://ads.ahds.ac.uk/catalogue/specColl/SoA_images/detail.cfm?object=3774 This is a new one to me and I guess is the most southerly piece of rock art in the UK cheers fitz

30 October 2006

Burrup Pennisula RA 18,000 yrs old?

Eyup folks, the HA discussion board just had a post about this: http://politicalarchaeology.wordpress.com/activist-archaeology/ I know it's a bit outside our usual sphere of influence, and we've touched on it before, but is this 18,000 figure likely to be confirmed? PS: If anyone feels like mithering senator Campbell as suggested on the above link, It couldn't do any harm could it?

21 October 2006

RAM 2007

Hi Folks, Just to let you all know... I have set the date for RAM07, it will be held on June 10th 2007. I hope this is okay for everyone, i have not got all the fine details worked out yet, but it will be on that date. Looking forward to seeing you all in my home land. Brian

20 October 2006

Let me know if this works

Hello folks, Could someone do me a favour and tell me if this zip downloads and opens OK? Jan, I've still got the High res versions if you still want them on disc. http://www.hobsonish.plus.com/asr/asr.zip (Jan: The whole serie can be seen on the 'Sculpture Rocks of Northumberland' collection on BRAC. Thanks a lot, Hob!)

09 October 2006

With Regard to RAM07......

Hi Folks, Just a quickie, been thinking and chewing some fat with regards to next years RAM. I know some folks were thinking about having a couple of days type thingy, that would maybe involve a stop over somewhere on the saturday night so we could have a chat etc.. So those that were perhaps thinking of staying over, would it be a camping thing or a hotel or b&b thing? I am just trying to work a few things out in my head, wasn't sure if you folks liked hotels etc..or would rather just camp?.. I know its along way off yet, but i like to plan things early.. wolfy

02 October 2006

Circles launched in Hexham

Hi Folks, Stan emailed me a document (probably a press-release) about events surrounding the launch of his latest book coming November in Hexham. Cheers, Jan

01 October 2006

Gallows Outon Spiral.....revealed.

Hi Folks, Just to let you know that the spiral at Gallows Outon has showed itself this past weekend. It has been the one carving i have wanted to see since i started getting the rock art bug... The carving looks as special as i thought it would do, after seeing it in the Ronald Morris book,(my first rock art book bought just after i got the bug..). I had to move alot of cow muck to get to this carving, i was left smelly etc, but it was worth it.( I am sure Suzanne has some pics of me shovelling the sh*t*..). Another interesting thing was the 3 sets of carved initials found just up from the carvng...seems like it was something the old antiquarians did. It was also interesting to visit St Ninians cave just after Gallows Outon, and to find a small carving very similar to the spiral at Gallows was a little spooky..

30 September 2006

Strange things found near Whithorn.....

Hi Folks, Today were were down near Whithorn, managed to get a really nice panel which i can show you all pretty soon. We also visited St Ninians Cave, the cave is carved with all sorts of crosses, names etc..but one carving caught my eye, might not mean anything, but still once you see the rock art pics i took earlier, there could well be a link or a meaning between the two. Tell me what you think of this little carving on the walls of the cave.. and then wait till you see the rock art pics to follow.. Gallows Outon Spiral wolfy & pebbles

28 September 2006

Essential read?

Here's a link to a short paper by Breck Parkman (senior state archaeologist) in the US. Should be of interest to any one trying to get a handle on the ancient world view connected with rock art sites. Well worth a read IMHO. Interesting photo's too. Essential read?

23 September 2006

Any Thoughts On Why?....

Hi Folks, We were at Park of Tongland today looking at the original recorded panel from 1987, although i have the original pictures, they do not do the carvings justice. One big thing about the carvings that makes me think, why would you start such a big motif as a cup and 6 rings, if you knew the rock you were carving on could not take such a size motif?..the rock has not been broken off, it is the same size it as always been, so why was that design chosen?.. Park of Tongland 1 (TMA) Park of Tongland 2 (TMA) wolfy

18 September 2006

Hhhmmm cup marked potboilers??

Attached is a link to some potboilers that have recently been discovered near New Cowper in Cumbria, interestingly the site has been dated to late Neolithic - Early Bronze Age. Theres some distinctly cup like depressions in yon potboilers + some that look entirely natural. I've asked David Reynolds (website owner & photographer) if theres any thoughts as to how these depressions were created (heat, natural marks or manmade), he’s come back having asked the excavating archaeos & says the feeling is that some were manmade…..debateable I know!! If some are manmade, could this be a rather tenuous link between cup marks & water, or were these depression used for practical purposes, like heating herbs or summat before being chucked int pot , or broken off a panel & had no meaning whatsoever to the average potboiler user????? I know west Cumbria wasn't exactly the hot bed of the petroglyph industry but their existence & context is quite interesting…… Cup Marked Potboilers

Faces on Stone....

(pic taken by suzanne)
Hi Folks, Just noticed some folks had been looking at faces in british rock art.. thought you might like to see this one the farmer at Tealing showed us on one of the walls of the buildings. any thoughts..

17 September 2006

On the spot guidance!

A Rock Art Whisperer (right) and a colleague at Blacktop, Aberdeenshire.

16 September 2006

It was Sandy wot done 'em .

When and why have yet to be answered but now at least we know who. Found this today along with three cups and the possibility of more under field clearance. About 6 miles from Crieff where there was an Alexander Crerar born about 1810 who had a wide interests so might be him. Will do a census & Parish register search next week to see if there were any other A.C.'s

12 September 2006

Castlerigg - the spiral that vanished

(Click for a larger Yoghurt!)
I came across this article today. I don't want to post a link to the article here, but a google search using some words to the title should take you the pdf on the first author's web site. A very interesting read; it made my day (I don't get out much). They even quote an anonymous person called Hob from the Modern Antiquarian. Have a look at fig 4 (F). A small figure but in my worst moments I swear that I can see a spiral! Is it all in the mind (or yoghurt)? Andy Journal of Archaeological Science Volume 33, Issue 11 , November 2006, Pages 1580-1587 The article in pdf-format: The spiral that vanished: the application of non-contact recording techniques to an elusive rock art motif at Castlerigg stone circle in Cumbria

Abstract

This article describes the recording of stone 11 of the Castlerigg stone circle in Cumbria through two different non-contact techniques: laser scanning and ground-based remote sensing. Despite the unproblematic recording of modern graffiti, neither technique was able to document the spiral photographed and rubbed in 1995. It is concluded that the spiral was most probably painted and has since faded away due to natural events. The discovery and loss of the spiral motif in Castlerigg is seen as a cautionary tale. In particular, it seems to suggest that it is time to take advantage of the novel technologies based on the digitisation of 3D surfaces with millimetre and submillimetre accuracy such as laser scanning and ground-based remote sensing. They offer many advantages to the recording of prehistoric carvings. In addition to avoiding direct contact with the rock surface eliminating the preservation concerns raised by other techniques, both produce high quality images (laser scanning offering a greater potential for this, but at higher cost) having a much higher level of objectivity, and precision and accuracy far beyond those of traditional recording methods such as wax rubbings and scale drawings.

Recording Rock Art..the best way?

(Click to enlarge)
Hi Folks, After uncovering the new panel at The Grange, i realise that i have further work to do there to record the panel properly for D&E. I know what details to take etc, but never on this size of panel, so far only recording smaller or simpler panels. When it comes to drawing or sketching larger panels, is there a set method involved or is it just draw what you see?..i am not too bad at drawing but would still like to get it as accurate as possible,obviously the use of a grid marker would perhaps help.. any thoughts on the subject.. What methods do you use George?. Brian

10 September 2006

Grange

Nice one Brian: http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/8819 I like the tale of the old fella with the chainsaw. It is a strange old motif isn't it? It reminds me of something, but I can't quite recall what.

09 September 2006

Strange sight in a Cumbrian field.

I hesitate to raise this issue but i am becoming increasingly concerned that the study of too much rock art can have disturbing sided effects. A couple of weekends ago i was shocked to see two well known rock art enthusiasts have now taken to dressing as pirates and running a round fields in Cumbria. This seemingly respectable couple (who shall remain nameless ?) were last seen staggering off towards a field of tents, kicking their heels in the air and shouting "Ah-Har me Hearty's!". Unfortunately i did not have a camera to hand and was somewhat transfixed by the wierdness of this spectacle, but if any anonomous pictures find their way to the blog, it might be better to get this out in the open .. whats it worth Mr W?. Regards GC

04 September 2006

Close ups of peck marks

(Cairnholy-6. Photo by George. Click to enlarge)
Is anyone out there aware of any studies which look at the fine detail of peck marks? I'm still undecided about this 'andesite pick' concept. It seems to work in Northumberland as a rough rule, but some of the pecks look a bit too tight. Also, the few bits of Dumfries stuff I've seen look like they would have been well tricky to make with a stone pick. Then just to add to my confusion, I read that schist is harder than granite, so the Kilmartin stuff would have been a bit difficult to do with stone. So I guess what I'm asking is about suff in a similar vein to those studies you see about scratches on flints or metal tools that indicate what they were used for, but in reverse.

27 August 2006

Linda Gordon: I Am Here Now

(click to enlarge)
Hi Folks, We received the following invitation from Linda Gordon, one of the RAM'06-ers: "I would very much like you to come to the opening party of my exhibition in rural Northumberland. It is the culmination of my year-long residency here, and I shall be showing a number of works, including installlations in the fields and barns of Highgreen. I attach a photo with details. I realise it is in a remote area of the country - but well worth the journey if you feel like enjoying some fabulous landscape, clean air and empty roads (well almost), plenty of sheep and some interesting art. Please contact me if you want to know more, or need the map deciphering.... Linda" In a later e-mail she added: "If anyone wants to come to my show, there are some great walks, and the local pub is having a barbeque with live music on the same day." So what are we waiting for? On to Highgreen! (I've invited Linda to this RABlog so she will be happy to inform you on-blog!)

16 August 2006

English Heritage info sign

Was confronted by this sign at Chatton yesterday......can't argue with the sentiment, can't help but laugh at the delivery.

15 August 2006

Circles in Stone

(click to enlarge) Stan Beckensall sent us the cover of his new book: "Circles in Stone, A British Prehistoric Mystery" ISBN: 0752440152 It will be publish by Tempus on 1 Nov. 2006. Congratulations from all of us, Stan! A nice addition to the "Chronology of British Rock Art Books" on BRAC.

09 August 2006

Solar alignment? Surely not...

Alright, I'll admit to a daft idea and back it up with some daftness. Jacqui and I went up to West Weetwood the weekend after the summer solstice, and as we sat at Ketley watching the sunset, it became apparent that the 'rock shelter' is placed so that it faces in just the right direction to catch the last rays of midsummer's day. Now I know we were a week after, but I clagged the flash unit on a monopod, placed it in about the position that I think the sun would have set on the Solstice, and Lo! the light went straight(ish) up the central groove on the sheter floor. Prompting all sorts of thoughts about how the line dividing the two halves of the panel may have represented the boundary between two aspects of life, embodied by the waxing and waning of the sun, or it's movements alog the horizon. Pure conjecture, and hardly a sound theory, but it's testable. So next year, I know where I want to be on midsummer's evening. Sitting at the boundary of the upper world and the underworld, by the cracks in the hill where the lines flow into the rock, at the point in time when the light comes from as far to the north as it ever can. I know RA isn't supposed to relate to the sky and would never dream of being such a heretic as to suggest it does, but hey, I'm only reporting an observation ;) (Hi Hob! I've included the requested image. The other ones are here.)

05 August 2006

Hareshaw Linn II

Visited this site yesterday & just don’t know what to make of it. There’s definitely some multiple circular-ish action going on, but it’s really difficult to determine what actually is there. Potentially, it could be a carving, or a weird bedding or erosion feature, although some of the arcs did appear to cut across the planes. This circular feature seemed to be existent on other parts of the rock also……so bedding, or potentially more carvings???? Unfortunately, as I started to feel the stone most of the green forming the circles came off easily on my fingers, it seemed to be dried dead algae (recent weather conditions?) rather than lichen. The ‘feel’ approach was inconclusive because of the stones uneven surface. One thing that did spring to mind is, is algae known to form circular patterns or does it just cling to whats there? Other things to consider, is the rocks location. It’s a piece of bedrock that sits below a large overhang & over the years no doubt has suffered from a constant dripping of water from above. If it is a carving, the dripping may have speeded up the erosion process, but this might have been offset by a lack of wind.. One thing that particularly struck me was the rocks position & how the carving (if it is one) faces the only pathway to the waterfall. Presuming this pathway was there 4-5k yrs ago, if you wanted to carve for it to be seen, you probably would have chosen this spot. Taking everything into consideration, I can honestly say that I haven’t the foggiest whether anythings there or not. Would be interesting to know what others think if you visit.

27 July 2006

New Panels on Craig Hill

Hello Folks , Some new panels found on Craig Hill on a knoll (CR 21) that already has more than it's fair share of squiggles .This is the most squiggly one. (The whole Craig Hill-21 collection on BRAC with links to the other panels)

25 July 2006

PRA at Hareshaw Linn?

We received an e-mail from Andrew Gardner (aj40 on RABL) about an unusual find near Bellingham. Since there's no reported other rock art in the area, he's wondering if this is a genuine cup-and-ring motif or just another spell of nature like the Casterigg spiral. Andrew wrote: "Hareshaw Linn is a fairly big waterfall (considerably larger than Roughting Linn) at the head of a densely wooded river valley about 2 miles walk from the centre of Bellingham. There are high sand stone cliffs on both sides of the fall. Under normal Northumberland weather conditions there's usually a large volume of water coming down the river and the pool below the fall where the path ends is deep and difficult to cross safely. Climbing on to the ledge where Steve found the rock would be very difficult when the river is full too. Thanks to the prolonged hot weather we're enjoying the river is very low at present and when we were there we could cross easily and scramble up onto the large sloping ledge opposite the end of the path. The marked rock was close under the base of the cliff at the back of the ledge. If anyone else wants to go and look for it they'd better get there before the weather breaks! I would guess that Hareshaw Linn would have had some significance for prehistoric people in the area given the association of some Northumberland rock art with prominent river features (Roughting Linn, the Jack Rock cliffs at Morwick) and the association of henges with rivers so perhaps we might expect to find rock art somewhere there. There's only the one path up the valley today but maybe in prehistoric times there were other paths through the woods and the ledge was more easily accessible. It's fun to speculate on what might have been! Thanks again, I look forward to hearing what everyone else thinks we might have found." So what do we think? Cheers, Jan Links to the original 'discovery'-photos received from Andrew: "Hey, I found something!" and "Look at this!"

24 July 2006

Morphing Stone PhotoG on TMA

With thanks to English Heritage and the Northumberland & Durham Rock Art Project
Finally got round to posting some PhotoG images of the morphing stone : http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/site/8209 thanks to English Heritage & N&DRAP for letting me use them, special mention to Joe Gibson & Paul Bryan.

17 July 2006

Lagganmullan rock carvings..

Hi Folks , Just to let you know that another Dumfries & Galloway rock art site has decided to show its face again after a number of years..Lagganmullan in the Gatehouse area. I have photographed 2 panels so far, panels numbered 3 & 4. Panel 4 is one that we both really liked and were so impressed with, it contains 58 cups, with atleast 35 of them having single cups, a design that seems very popular within the Gatehouse region. Please take a look at the pic above, and more on TMA. I hope to locate the rest of the panels in due course.. Panel 3 is a very interesting rock, it has been dug up, and erected as a standing stone. You can see how smooth the back of the stone is where it was in the ground, the carved upper surface which was exposed is now the front edge. Lagganmullan 3 on TMA Lagganmullan 4 on TMA Lagganmullan 5 on TMA Cheers.. Brian

04 July 2006

Barningham Moor rediscovery

New find on Barningham Moor, discovered whilst following one of my ridiculous ‘trackway’ theories. It consists of approx 45 cups + 25 CnRs, a series of enclosing grooves & interlinking grooves that connect all but 5 of the ringless cup.... a quite busy yet manic design!!

03 July 2006

Bradley; Ships on Rocks

left: Stan (wearing his West Horton jumper) and Richard at Morwick in 1992 right: Richard Bradley during the interview, June 2006
Hi there Folks, Last May, Richard Bradley was a guest speaker at Leiden University, Archaeology Department. An interview with him was publised in the Dutch newspaper NRC of 18 June 2006. Lately he's involved in research of rock art in South Scandinavia, mainly on rock carvings of ships and footsteps. Here are some quotes from the article which might be of interest to you. I've numbered them for easy reference. 1. I never studied Archaeology, I only research what I like - the last five, six years I was busy with British and Irish prehistory but I'm now utterly bored by the subject. 2. There's no sense in researching rock art on its own. Only when you bring it in context with other archaeological finds, the environment and its possible audience, you are able to say something about it. If not, you could better study wallpaper. 3. During a visit to Sweden, I discovered a cairn near to the rock art. The Swedes never noticed that before because one expert studies the rock art and another the cairns. 4. I want to know how people lived in a society different from ours. But I don't use big fundamental questions, lets say the questions asked by people who try to write a dissertation and become frustrated. I just notice things and ask myself why people throw weapons into rivers and carve motifs in rocks. It would be nice if we could keep it that simple! Cheers, Jan

30 June 2006

Filedtrip 2006 Photos

Hi Guys and Gals, Just for the record: our Fieldtrip 2006 photo album is on BRAC now. Its about the 'making of' rock art photos, boring travel days, people and places, pubs and museums, IFRAO-scales, field flowers, funny moments and more. Cheers, Gus & Jan (Hob was refering to this photo of one of the Alnmouth Wall stones)

28 June 2006

RAM'06 Photo Album

Hi Folks, The RAM'06 photo album is on BRAC now. Don't worry, the album isn't closed yet so if you have rock-art-people pics of the 4th of June, please mail them to me. Cheers, Jan

21 June 2006

RA and grub .

Hello Brian , about a year ago I found six separate panels all surrounding a man made loch near Urlar . I get the impression that when they were carved the area would have been quite similar and would have attracted animals , possibly a reason for the carvings. Some of the pics are under Black Burn in the Perth and Kinross folder.

20 June 2006

A Reason for the Carvings?...

Hi Folks, Just made contact with another farmer in the Wigtown area, the farmer owns East Drummodie farm. He called me to let me know that he had something on his land i might be interested in. It was not rock carvings, but i was still interested. He found something after removing an old cattle feeder, and after having his cows wander over the area, something appeared. He had no idea what he found, but thought it was linked to other finds on the land. What he found was a circle of stones perhaps 12ft across. The interesting fact i found was that the area used to be under water and known as Dowalton Loch,and indeed there is still what remains of Dowalton Burn, there are a known number of crannogs placed around the area that the loch used to cover. Indeed parts of the land are still slightly marshy. I suggested to Mr Young that what he found might have a link to a crannog which he knows about which is situated a small distance away, or indeed it may be another crannog. He has asked me to take a look to see if i can get a better idea what it could be, (i don't need to be asked twice,lol). My idea is a simple one, if you look at what surrounds this wet area, you have a number of major rock art, or standing stone sites, such as Drumtroddan, Big Balcraig, Culnoag and Claunch. Was the main focal point for the rock carvings, the stones, the loch?..a nice picture of prehistoric life happening around the loch, with a number of hills with views over the loch, carvings made for the loch?.. I shall be meeting with Mr Young soon, should be interesing to see what exactly he has found that was hidden away under the cattle feeder all these years, perhaps unrecorded. Brian

Some questions on your views of rock art

Hello this is my first post. I'm writing a short paper on the perceptions of rock art and am just asking a few questions to see what your views are. feel free to pick and choose which are relevant questions to your experiences and to add any comments that may be useful. Thanks Jo. The Perceptions of Rock Art Questionnaire (draft q’s) 1. Before going to a rock art site to record it do you read about it first and then take the book or printed web pages from the Beckensall website to the rock art site and try to find the panels from them? 2. Do the references, including descriptions, pictures, drawings, always match the rock art panel? 3. Do they differ a lot from how you might have imagined they look? 4. Does the size/area of the rock art site feel a lot bigger than might be imagined if you looked at a map? 5. Do you find all the panels or indeed motifs, if map references are wrong or they have been moved or eroded away? 6. Do you find all the numbers of cup marks that Stan Beckensall records? 7. Do some cup marks look more natural than artificial? 8. How do you feel about the landscape environment around the rock art, do roads, livestock, or people get in the way of a good peaceful view? 9. Has the landscape changed at any sites since previous pictures were taken by Beckensall or others, have trees or other plants been planted or destroyed? 10. Does turf cover alter perceptions if you’ve just looked at a panel with turf or other plants covering it and then seen more of the motifs underneath the turf? 11. If in a museum how does the environment around the rock art feel then compared to being outside on the hills? 12. Does the rock art look better in certain light conditions? 13. Is it ever facing away from the sunlight so it’s in shade from the sun and only in sunlight for a small amount of time?

19 June 2006

2006 Fieldtrip

Hi Folks, Our 8th fieldtrip ended on the 6th of June! With the first two winterly weeks almost forgotten (exept the rock art, of course!), the last sunny week stuck in our short term memory. With 40 visited sites, this was one of our most productive fieldtrips ever. One of the highlights was Urlar Burn-3 (NN84NE 29) near Aberfeldy (click photo above). It was only seen -and wrongly described- by an OS surveyer in 1975. We had the impression that the design was 'one of a kind' and it was a kind of moving in its simplicity. A cup-and-ring with groove and 3 cups and a cup-and-ring with one cup, both groups encircled by a groove. The design gave us instandly a feeling of togetherness, like a man and woman with some kids; a family-panel, a happy moment in time...... unique! Another of the many 'goodies' was Blairbuy in D&G which we visited with Suzanne & Brian on a sunny saturday in May. Yes, we even did some overtime in the weekends. South Friarton and Bonnytoun were unexpected nice ones too and so was Newbigging, although in a sad location, still an impressive "stone with a story". The 'catch' was always good enough for a stylish celebration in the pub; another nice aspect of a successfull fieldtrip! We enjoyed the well-attended RAM'06 with beautifull weather and companionable people. In short: "TOP!" A photo collection of the 'none rock art part' of the 2006 fieldtrip as well as of the RAM will be put on BRAC in due time. Thanks for all your support and good company! We hope to see you next year in Dumfries and Galloway at the RAM'07 hosted by Brian & Suzanne. Cheers, Jan

17 June 2006

Rock Art Humor

(click photo to enlarge)
Hi Folks,
Paul Bennett sent us a revealing cartoon about the true origin of cup-and-ring marks. Thanks for that, Paul! The creator of this peep into prehistory, Hunt Emerson, gave us permission to put it on BRAC and its there now in a new collection "Humor in British Rock Art". We hope for (much?) more to overcome difficult moments caused by over-reacting editors, mad landowners, one-way ticketers of turf, to serious people and so on. So send us your wink to the past for all to enjoy! Thanks, Jan

05 June 2006

RAM-tastic! (1)

A quick note to say i had a great day at Jan and Gus's 2006 Rock Art Meeting. Great weather on the day and a chance to see some fine rock art, with a friendly bunch of people. Thanks to Rich for driving us up there (door to door service - much appreciated). I've not looked at my photo's yet, but if any one has any 'gems' it would be good to see them. (groups-pic added with pleasure by Jan)

22 May 2006

Wigtown Mini RAM06

Hi Folks, Just to let you all know that Suzanne and myself had a really nice weekend in Wigtown catching up with Jan & Gus. We had a few drinks, had a few laughs, and even managed to see some good quality rock art!!. We spent the saturday at Blairbuy farm , locating 2 or 3 good panels. On the sunday we visited my new find at Boyach farm, then went to the nearby site of Drummoral. I thought i would post a couple of pics of the day on saturday at Blairbuy. The top picture showing Jan, Gus and myself in a big gorse bush...the second picture showing Jan and myself after we have found our target, a nice cup and ring carving. The rest of the pics will be posted in due course.. Brian & Suzanne