Skip to comments.Perthshire Rock Art Sheds Light On Scotland's Prehistoric Past
Posted on 08/05/2007 4:00:40 PM PDT by blam
PERTHSHIRE ROCK ART SHEDS LIGHT ON SCOTLAND'S PREHISTORIC PAST
By Graham Spicer 03/08/2007
Archaeologists have discovered a large group of ancient rock art in Perthshire, which they hope will shed more light on the areas prehistoric inhabitants.
A team working on National Trust for Scotland (NTS) land as part of the Ben Lawers Historic Landscape Project found the previously undiscovered cup-and-ring style markings on a hillside overlooking Loch Tay and Kenmore. The carvings could date back to Neolithic times and be up to 5,000 years old.
Cup-and-ring rock art features abstract symbols of circles and cups, chipped out of the stone some time between 3,000-1,500 BC, from the late Neolithic period to the early Bronze Age. Other examples have been found at locations in upland Britain and across Atlantic Europe, from Portugal to Orkney.
It is likely that these specialised symbols had different meanings depending on their context of use, much like the Christian cross, explained Derek Alexander, NTS West Region Archaeologist.
Some are used in ceremonial monuments, others are on public display in open landscapes like Ben Lawers, while some are included in individual burial cists [stone caskets].
The archaeological team, led by Professor Richard Bradley from Reading University and Aaron Watson, decided to excavate one of the terraces along the hillside where the carvings were found.
The team have been excavating small trenches around the bedrock outcrops to try and find any artefactual evidence that might be contemporary with the carving and use of the rock art sites, said Derek.
Similar cup-and-ring carvings have been found at this site in Northumberland. Photo Ian Tresman, Creative Commons 2.5 license
Already quantities of flaked and worked quartz have been recovered, he added. More surprising, however, was the discovery of two flakes of Arran pitchstone. This is a volcanic glass that is only found on the Isle of Arran in the Firth of Clyde and must have been brought to the site at Ben Lawers.
It is hoped that these discoveries will lead to a much better understanding of Scotlands prehistoric past, said archaeologist Aaron Watson, who has investigated several cup-and-ring sites, including one at Kilmartin Glen in Argyll.
What is important about our current work is trying to move beyond simply studying the individual motifs to finding evidence for the people who made, used and understood these sites.
"Other examples have been found at locations in upland Britain and across Atlantic Europe, from Portugal to Orkney."
This was probably done by my R1b relatives.
Looks like a record of an impressive comet.
Could just be images of stars as seen by an extremely nearsighted R1b.
Looks to me like some sort of board (rock) game, the pockets are where a player put his game pieces.
These are very similar to ancient Hawaiian petroglyths easily visible on the Big Island near Kilauea. The ancients would take the dried umbilical cord stubs after they fell off the babies and place them in the middle of the circles or series of rings. It looks very much like this.
They could quarry perfect slabs of granite, marble and limestone and build well engineered structures, but for some reason couldn't come up with a complex symbol to represent their society a mere 5000 years ago?
"Ugg! me make cross" said Omar while he sitting on the edge of the marble walls of aquaduct which brought water from the glacier on the mountain 5 miles away, and supplied the entire city with indoor water service, as well as powered the city gates, the city flour mill, and sewage system... Anyu number of societies could have used simple shapes like a cross for any number of reasons in their daily lives.
I’ve never been one for progressivist history. Man has been very sophisticated for a very long time.
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Possible a relative of the guy that drove around painting “See Rock City” on barns?
Looks to me like the bottom of the old galvanized wastecans found on picnic sites when we did college keggers. Him, I think I have a theory!
Prehistoric lawn dart targets?
Ditto to that !!!
I put that carving there in 1954. Under the rock are spare main metering jets for my Vincent Black Shadow and other personal property belonging to the Aberdeen Motorcycle Club.
You’re probably the same guy who keeps planting ancient Roman, Greek, and Phoenician coins all over the US.
Well, they invented golf...
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