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


rockrich said...

Fascinating stuff Graeme! I wonder if the size of the ring was a declaration of the persons importance? Makes you wonder about our ring cairns doesn’t it? Would like to see more of the bottom right hand corner, 2 rings look to be overlapping in an Old Bewick sorta stylee, husband & wife maybe??

Can’t get the 2nd link to work, but sounds grand. Is that 3 sliding fertility lore stories we have now? The ‘fertility stone’ near Dacre Banks has similar lore, except women were supposed to sit on the bugger all night.

george said...

Very interesting ,anybody know of 1) a cairn by a geological fault 2) a ring cairn with nine rings .
This seems a better "fit" than the circularity found in stone circles , cups etc. when most of them are onviously not circular .
Fecundity ,fruitfulness ,funny how all the F words seem associated with those "sliding " stones. In the historical period at least .

Fitz said...

Interesting stuff there Graeme.
I saw a similar bronze age cemetery in Sardinia. http://images.fotopic.net/ybhc97.jpg
Concentric rings beneath mounds seems to be a world-wide phenomena.
A while back I had a flight of fancy regarding the tri-radial mounds of Northumberland and there possible connection with some of the Northumbrian tri-radial motifs. The circle signifying the life span of the person and the tri-radial disections signifying youth, adulthood and old age. Like I say a flight of fancy.

You fail to mention that you actually witnessed me sliding, rather ungainly, down the lower portion of the rock at the Wainstones and that the rock itself features a long linear carved groove http://www.themodernantiquarian.com/post/53294. Thinking back, that particular stone be linked to the ability to control the wind ( :

rockrich said...

Fitz, oh aye, forgot about that! Inhaling excessive amounts of the gas CH4 must cause memory loss :-)

GraemeC said...

the Lower link should work now (needs a ? in front of 'places')

No info about cairns and fault lines but I was going to ask about the largest number of concentric rings found in uk rock carvings, is it 9?
I could easily see the circular symbolism found at other prehistoric sites (henges, enclosures, timber circles)being added to the basic cupmark symbol.
Even down to the gapped rings/ entrances?
?ring represents the circular ditch or bank dug to enclose an area for ritual/ceremonies? if the ceremony is repeated at a later date, then another ring is added?
back to the old question of who and when :)

GraemeC said...

Aye Fitz it was rather a 'windy' day for you, although as you say the 'wind' subsided after your attempts to scale the rock slide at the Wainstones.
Maybe some local folklore in the making - a cure for Flatulence! (BG)

george said...

By my reckoning there are 10 examples of 9 rings in the UK and one with 10 at Ballyculter in Co Down .A long way behind Monte Teton in Galicia with 17 . What I find intriguing is that while some cup marks are circular, a lot , just like the surrounding rings , enclosures ,most timber and stone circles ,ring cairns etc are notthough they do get described as such .