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


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


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.