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Issue No 16: Autumn 2016

Issue No 16: Autumn 2016 Issue No.16: October 2016 Dear All, A short but significant issue

Issue No.16: October 2016

Dear All, A short but significant issue this Autumn, announcing a fantastic new project in Scotland which should provide plenty of opportunities for involvement in rock art recording, building on the success of previous community based projects. Don’t forget:

if you are involved in any rock art related activities and would like to share your experiences just drop me a line.

Kate

Contents:

October 2016

New British discoveries: George Currie’s latest find from Perth and Kinross

1

British rock art news: lost and foundin Scotland, Northumberland and Cumbria

2

World rock art on the web: international news and links

5

Brag in Liverpool: review by Jonty R. Trigg

6

Rock art abstracts: headlines from the journals

7

Chasing the butterflies of Brodgar by K. Sharpe

8

Rock art reads

9

Dates for the diary

10

Inspired by rock art

10

NEW BRITISH DISCOVERIES

George Currie has been busy again detecting new panels in Perth & Kinross, Scotland. Meet him in person in his interview with Dalya Alberge in The Guardian at www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/17/rock-art-amateur-archaeologist-scotland As always, grid references are not included but the locations of all panel references are recorded on Canmore and the relevant HER database.

are recorded on Canmore and the relevant HER database. Cochno (Glasgow) George visited Cochno to see

Cochno (Glasgow)

George visited Cochno to see the recently uncovered motifs (see p. 2), and whilst there spotted this previously unrecorded panel just 250 m away on an obvious outcrop.

unrecorded panel just 250 m away on an obvious outcrop. Coire Thaochaidh A prominent rock proved

Coire Thaochaidh

A prominent rock proved worth investigating. See

more on The Modern Antiquarian:

www.themodernantiquarian.

com/site/17891/coire_thaoch

aidh.html

com/site/17891/coire_thaoch aidh.html Corrymuckloch Found near Corrymuckloch Farmhouse, this panel

Corrymuckloch

Found near Corrymuckloch Farmhouse, this panel has 26 cup marks, at least 10 of which have single rings.

George notes that the preservation and depth of the markings is un- equalled among the other 20 marked rocks in the area including those under turf. Images of the area and his own recollection suggest that the rock was moved to its present position sometime after a track to a nearby pylon was removed i.e. post Spring 2014.

a track to a nearby pylon was removed i.e. post Spring 2014. - 1 - Tullichuil

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Tullichuil 02

Another impressive panel to

add to

the Perth & Kinross

record.

Issue No 16: Autumn 2016

BRITISH ROCK ART NEWS: Projects, publications, and people

In this issue we report a sad loss suspected in Northumberland, but two previously ‘lost’ items are rediscovered. We also bring you fantastic news for rock art north of the border.

Scotland’s rock art in the spotlight

In January 2017, Historic Environment Scotland is launching a new five-year project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, to improve our understanding of Scottish rock art.

Scotland contains over a third of all known prehistoric cup and ring marked rocks in Britain, including some of the largest and most elaborate panels, and has been the focus of several recent excavations of rock art panels. Building on the successes of recent community-based projects (NADRAP, CSI, ACCORD), and inspired by the findings of the Ross-shire Rock Art Project and enthusiastic local amateur specialists, the Scotland’s Rock Art Project will work with community groups to record and research rock art across the whole of Scotland.

The aim is to compile a comprehensive database of the 2400 panels currently known in Scotland using a suite of techniques, including photogrammetry RTI (Reflectance Transformance Imaging). The database will enable the panels and motifs to be analysed in relation to their contexts, in order to investigate how the rock art landscape in Scotland has been shaped through time by changing social values and actions.

The project will be led by Dr Tertia Barnett, with co-investigators from Glasgow School of Art Digital Design Studio (Dr Stuart Jeffery), and Edinburgh University School of History, Classics and Archaeology (Dr Guillaume Robin), and project partners Archaeology Scotland, Kilmartin Museum, and the North of Scotland Archaeology Society.

Museum, and the North of Scotland Archaeology Society. D e t a i l e d

Detailed drawing of Achnabreck © RCAHMS. Canmore 414486

b r e c k © R C A H M S . Canmore 414486 Achnabreck

Achnabreck © RCAHMS. Canmore 336486

Contact for further information: Tertia.Barnett@ed.ac.uk

See also:

BBC News at www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-36671897 The Guardian at www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/17/rock-art-amateur-archaeologist-scotland

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Issue No 16: Autumn 2016

Cochno Stone fully revealed with help from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service!

In RA14 (Autumn 2015) we reported on a trial excavation to assess the condition of the Cochno Stone on the outskirts of Glasgow. Ken Brophy and a team from the University of Glasgow found that the panel was buried less deeply than claimed, and the wall surrounding it had partially collapsed or been pushed over.

Recommendations were then made to fully expose the stone. Work finally began on 5 th September and the large surface was uncovered, revealing an incredible array of motifs. Students spent a week removing hundreds of tonnes of mud then a fire crew was brought in to ‘wash’ the sandstone!

a fire crew was brought in to ‘wash’ the sandstone! The muddy motifs emerge … The

The muddy motifs emerge

in to ‘wash’ the sandstone! The muddy motifs emerge … The ‘cleaned’ motifs catch the light

The ‘cleaned’ motifs catch the light!

motifs emerge … The ‘cleaned’ motifs catch the light ! Fire hoses are directed onto the

Fire hoses are directed onto the slab

The joint project between the Archaeology Department and the Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation will gather high-resolution data of the stone's surface before reburying it. They hope to produce a life-size copy of the 8 × 13 m surface.

A detailed account together with a fascinating history of The Cochno Stone can be found at

See more images from BBC Scotland at:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-37340378 and

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-37290979

MISSING! Iconic rock art panel from Northumberland

Reliable sources report that the rock art panel known as 'Beanley Moor 1' was ‘removed’ from the moor in Northumberland earlier this year. The slab measures 1.1 x 0.5 x 0.1 m, and is estimated to weigh around 125 kg (275 lb) so that moving it would be no casual operation. Sadly, though, it lay close to a footpath, and just 500 m from the nearest road.

close to a footpath, and just 500 m from the nearest road. This incredible example of

This incredible example of Northumberland rock art was recorded by NADRAP volunteers in 2006 and detailed information, images, and 3D models can be found on the England’s Rock Art database under record no. ERA 1097:

The panel is described as:

‘An amazingly well-preserved panel which has been covered by turf and heather cover and little disturbed. As an example of detailed cup and penannular design in pristine condition it is almost without peer.’

(More in the ERA record)

Beanley Moor 1 by Brian Kerr

As can be seen in the ERA sketch, the panel was largely covered by turf. This was very carefully peeled back in order to capture the full extent of the panel but was then replaced to preserve the motifs and protect the panel.

then replaced to preserve the motifs and protect the panel. The panel had become something of

The panel had become something of an icon, featuring on the cover of the Mazel, Nash and Waddington publication ‘Art as Metaphor’. Unfortunately, it was not protected by Scheduling like the nearby Ringses Iron Age hillfort.

Northumberland County Archaeologist Sara Rushton is currently investigating.

County Archaeologist Sara Rushton is currently investigating. Beanley Moor 1 field sketch by NADRAP Team -

Beanley Moor 1 field sketch by NADRAP Team

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New member of the Neolithic figurine ‘gang’

In RA9 (Summer 2013) we rounded up a gallery of seven British Neolithic figurines, to illustrate a different form of ‘rock art’ (although admittedly, not all were fashioned from stone). In an early version of the article there was an eighth member of the gang. Only a sketch was available of this figure, drawn by antiquarian George Petrie. It had been discovered by William G. Watt, the local laird, when excavating a stone bed compartment in House 3 of the Neolithic village of Skara Brae. It was described in an 1867 report by Petrie, but its whereabouts were a mystery so the figurine was omitted from the RA article. Earlier this year, however, the missing figure was rediscovered in the collections of Stromness Museum, identified Dr David Clarke among artefacts

donated without provenance in the 1930s: “Amazingly, we found it in the last box of the day. I’ve always thought this figurine to be lost forever so seeing it staring back at me from its bed of tissue paper was completely unexpected and very exciting.”

The ‘Skara Brae Buddo’ is carved from whalebone and is 9.5cm tall. It has eyes, a mouth, and a navel. Holes through the head and body may have been used to suspend the figurine. It is currently on display at the museum along with Petrie’s notes and sketches.

Issue No 16: Autumn 2016

with Petrie’s notes and sketches. Issue No 16: Autumn 2016 The ‘Skara Brae Buddo’ The Skara

The ‘Skara Brae Buddo’

Issue No 16: Autumn 2016 The ‘Skara Brae Buddo’ The Skara Brae Buddo takes his place

The Skara Brae Buddo takes his place with the rest of the gang. From left to right: Links of Noltland (head missing), ‘Brodgar Boy’, ‘Westray Wifie’, Skara Brae Budda, Links of Noltland, ‘Grimestone Girlie’, ‘God Dolly’, Windmill Hill (headless), Not shown to scale.

Lake District volunteers learn about rock art

Given the continuing discoveries of rock art in the central Lake District, this summer the National Park Authority decided to brief their volunteers on the subject, so they can keep their eyes open when out and about on the fells. Your Ed teamed up with rock art researcher and Volunteer Supervisor, Pete Style, to spend a day in Grasmere with them. After a ‘briefing’ in the Village Hall, we took a look at the impressive cup marked outcrop in the adjacent Broadgate Park, where the cups seem to be focussed around intersecting fissures. Like many of the Lakeland panels this site is in the valley bottom.

The group then visited a second, similar outcrop in the gardens of Allan Bank, once the home of William Wordsworth, and later of National Trust founder, Canon Rawnsley. Both panels are very typical of the wedge-shaped, glacially-formed outcrops on which cup marks have been found in Lakeland. Some have more than a hundred cups, which tend to be scattered along the highest part of the smooth slope.

to be scattered along the highest part of the smooth slope. Cup-marks at Allan Bank. Copt
to be scattered along the highest part of the smooth slope. Cup-marks at Allan Bank. Copt

Cup-marks at Allan Bank.

highest part of the smooth slope. Cup-marks at Allan Bank. Copt Howe in Great Langdale Allan

Copt Howe in Great Langdale

Allan Bank cup-marked outcrop

We then moved on to a very different example of rock art at Copt Howe near the village of Chapel Stile in Great Langdale. Here the motifs are pecked onto the vertical face of a massive block of volcanic tuff. The only cup-marks in evidence are natural geological hollows created by the weathering of inclusions. The people drawn to this rock in prehistory may have believed otherwise when they added their multiple rings, chevrons, and areas of pecking, and perhaps gazed up the valley towards the peaks from where they quarried the precious stone for their axes.

Hopefully the volunteers are now well trained as rock art spotters and will soon be adding their own discoveries to the growing corpus of Cumbrian rock art sites.

To find out more about the Lake District National Park Archaeology Volunteers see:

http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/caringfor/volunteering/archaeologyvol

unteers

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WORLD ROCK ART on the WEB

News from Norway, Chile, Australia and China

Issue No 16: Autumn 2016

Helpful Norwegian kids ‘improve’ rock art! Two mischievous boys have confessed to ruining 5000-year-old rock
Helpful Norwegian kids ‘improve’ rock art!
Two mischievous boys have confessed to ruining 5000-year-old rock art on the
island of Tro, off the coast of northern Norway. But they claim to have had the best
of intentions, aiming to make the carving easier to see!
When a local resident reported the vandalism the boys quickly came forward,
offering a public apology. They explained that they had used a sharp object to
deepen the lines of the carving—of a person on skis—but their contrition was not
enough for some Norwegians, who vented their anger on social media. The boys
are reportedly in danger of being prosecuted under Norway’s Cultural Heritage Act
and Nordland County archaeologist Tor-Kristian Storvik told The Telegraph that he
had no intention of withdrawing the criminal complaint made over the damage.
Source: www.techly.com.au/2016/08/19/norwegian-kids-tried-improve-5000-year-old-rock-art/ Photo: Nordland Fylkeskommune.
Chilean project records new art with regional variations For the past five years archaeologists have
Chilean project records new art with regional variations
For the past five years archaeologists have been recording a series of new rock art
discoveries in Chile’s Limari Valley. Using high-resolution cameras and specialised
software, researchers detected more than 150 paintings consisting mainly of
colourful lines, circles and squares.
The art is thought to have been created by hunter-gatherers between 2000 BC and
500 AD. The study results, published in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology,
suggest that the paintings belong to different groups of pre-Hispanic people, some
from the coast and others from the mountains. Coastal art included parallel lines
not present in the mountains, where the artists used a greater variety of colours.
The study suggests that the paintings helped generate a sense of identity and
belonging within communities.
Source: www.scientificamerican.com/article/archaeologists-identify-more-than-150-rock-art-
paintings-in-chile/
Rock art in Valle del Limari, Coquimbo Region,
Chile. Credit: Andrés Troncoso
Wasp nests used to date ice age rock art in Australia After a three-year-long project,
Wasp nests used to date ice age rock art in Australia
After a three-year-long project, archaeologists have dated what they say "may be
the longest, most impressive rock art sequence anywhere in the world".
Rock art in Australia’s northwest Kimberley dates to the Palaeolithic era, according
to a team of researchers who documented, analysed, and dated more than 200
rock art sites in the region with different dating techniques. Optically stimulated
luminescence was used to date sand grains found in fossilised mud wasp nests built
over the ancient images. Accelerator mass spectrometry was also used to date the
carbon in the wasp nests and in spots of beeswax found on the images. The oldest
image in the study, a “perfectly preserved, yam-like motif painted in mulberry
coloured ochre on the ceiling of a deep cavern” was found to have a minimum age
of 16,000 years.
Read more at: www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-01/rock-art-in-kimberley-dated/7805262 The 16,000-year-old yam-like motif. Picture: Perth
Now.
Severe flooding destroys Chinese rock art Rare flooding in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of
Severe flooding destroys Chinese rock art
Rare flooding in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of northwest China has
damaged some of the thousands of prehistoric rock art on the cliffs of Helan
Mountain. The mountain has around 20,000 images scattered over several hundred
kilometres. They are thought to have been created by nomads who lived in the
area between 3,000 and 10,000 years ago, and depict their activities.
Some of the images were damaged by mud and silt, and about a dozen carvings on
individual rocks were carried away by the flood waters. Others were lost when
layers of mountain rock peeled off or cracked in the heavy rains. Hu Zhiping,
deputy director of the Helan Mountain Cliff Painting Administration, said that the
extent of the damage is still being assessed.
Source: http://www.china.org.cn/china/2016-08/26/content_39169375_2.htm Photo: Xinhua

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Issue No 16: Autumn 2016

BRAG in LIVERPOOL 2016

Reviewed by Jonty R. Trigg

The British Rock Art Group was founded and had its inaugural conference in Cambridge in 2003. Thirteen years on, the annual conference is still going, stronger than ever, and attracting leading academics and professionals from major institutions acr oss the world. Hosted for the first time by the University of Liverpool over the 3rd-4th September 2016, matters discussed included the nature of rock art, what it means, and ways of investigating it.

The two-day event was organised by Anthony Sinclair and the author (University of Liverpool) with the co- operation of Ron Cowell and Liz Stewart (Museum of Liverpool). It provided an important opportunity for academics to make contacts within the field, and included colleagues from the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, Australia, the United States and Kenya. In addition to this, several of the papers provided a space for postgraduate and early career researchers to discuss and identify the questions they are examining. The research presented by all was both innovative and inter-disciplinary, and surely served to shape the future of the field.

and surely served to shape the future of the field. The second day was comprised of

The second day was comprised of four sessions. Josephine Flood, emeritus faculty at the Australian National University, opened with a contextualising presentation on the Aboriginal rock art of Australia. The earliest picked art is made up of predominantly circles, cup marks, abraded grooves, and faunal tracks, whereas the earliest painted art is of stencils, and hand and grass prints. This is followed by figurative art comprised of both human and megafaunal figures. Holocene art can be seen to be markedly different from that of the Pleistocene which, Flood asserted, is related to changes in environment and toolkits.

The Australian connection was furthered by Jamie Hampson (University of Western Australia, Stanford University and University of York) in his paper on the Murujuga images of Western Australia, including significantly early human faces. The carvings may date to 10,000 years BP. Hampson’s paper advocated that, despite political, social and economic tensions between various interest groups, there was a sense of optimism for the future.

Reflecting on a similarly significant region, this time for San art, Aron Mazel from Newcastle University discussed the material from Didima Gorge, South Africa. Providing a wide range of statistical evidence relating to the vast numbers of images here,

Mazel went on to argue that other factors equally contribute to the significance of the region, including the polychrome and trance figures.

The production of images in the Altai mountains formed the focus of the next paper. Ekaterina Devlet (Russian Academy of Sciences) discussed the portrayal of varying motifs on grave slabs from the Bronze and Early Iron Age, arguing that the rock art was sometimes deliberately disregarded when used in the construction of the graves.

Cezary Namirski from Durham University examined the rock art of the province of Ogliastra, Sardinia, in which cup and cup-and-ring marks, and anthropomorphic figures, can be found in a variety of landscape locations. Using the associations of many of the rock art panels with Neolithic and Chalcolithic monuments, Namirski discussed the chronology of the monuments.

Christine Ogola and Emmanuel Ndiema (National Museums of Kenya) considered the identification of rock art from the site of Kakapel, where a variety of style and artistic traditions are represented. Their paper identified the disparity in depths of archaeological material from Kakapel and other rock art sites in the region, suggesting that Kakapel was the hub of rock art production.

George Nash (University of Bristol) discussed a probable Late Upper Palaeolithic carving of a member of the cervid family at Cathole Cave, a limestone cave in the Gower Peninsula of South Wales. Among the data provided was the presentation of date of 12,572 +/- 600 years BP for the immediately overlying flowstone, while a neighbouring sample provided a date of 14,505 +/- 879 years BP.

Katie Mills from the University of Manchester presented observations of differing public perceptions of two rock art sitesone genuine and one replicain relation to the preservation of sites endangered by weathering. Her study, which forms the basis of her PhD research, considered the sites of Lordenshaw, Northumberland, and Gardom’s Edge, Derbyshire.

Penelope Foreman (Bournemouth University) discussed the significance of colour in reconstructing the mindset of Neolithic peoples, which is

in reconstructing the mindset of Neolithic peoples, which is The conference opened with a field trip,

The conference opened with a field trip, beginning with a viewing of the Museum of Liverpool led by Ron Cowell, the Curator of Prehistoric Archaeology. This was followed by a trip to the remains of the Neolithic passage grave known as The Calderstones, where George Nash delivered a lecture on its history. Destroyed in the mid-nineteenth century, only six decorated stones remain. The trip concluded with a private viewing of some recently discovered rock art from Willaston on the Wirral Peninsula in north west England.

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part of her PhD research. Her focus was on Atlantic Europe, using Bryn Celli Ddu on Anglesey as a specific case study.

A further example of ongoing

fieldwork was presented by Daniel Arsenault (University of Quebec) in

his discussion of rock art from Cliff

Lake, Ontario. Fluctuating water levels

have allowed the recording of additional examples of rock art at known sites, and the discovery of two new sites.

Anthony Sinclair (University of Liverpool) reported on the possibilities

of identifying the sex of the providers of hand stencils using geometric morphometric analysis. Sinclair noted that there is evidence associating the hand stencils with the arrival of the first anatomically modern humans in Europe.

Finally, an in absentia paper was presented by Ruman Bannerjee (University of Bristol) looking at Indian rock art.

Also incorporated into the programme of academic papers was an opportunity for participants to view, and try out the experimental cave

Issue No 16: Autumn 2016

used by the Department for teaching and research.

Overall, the conference was an unqualified success. The variety of speakers, perspectives, regions and approaches, and the depth covered meant that the conference was both engaging and productive. Hopefully the networks established here will continue to flourish through to the next year’s meeting in Anglesey.

(Images by Peta Bulmer)

Rock Art Abstracts: Headlines from recent journal papers. What are researchers currently thinking about?

(Full papers available online with subscription)

about? (Full papers available online with subscription) Extracting rock art from reconstructed 3D surfaces How can

Extracting rock art from reconstructed 3D surfaces How can we analyse the many 3D surfaces that recording work is now generating? This new method for the precise segmentation of petroglyphs from 3D surfaces could provide a way to automatically index and interrogate large petroglyph databases.

Zeppelzauer, M. et al. 2016. Interactive 3D segmentation of rock art by enhanced depth maps and gradient preserving regularization.

Journal on Computing & Cultural Heritage 9(4)

Journal on Computing & Cultural Heritage 9(4) Exploring rock art in the Lower Congo The first

Exploring rock art in the Lower Congo The first extensive, systematic survey of the Lovo Massif region in the Lower Congo has produced radiocarbon dates that allow new interpretations of the relationship between the rock art and the historical kingdom of Kongo. Multiple perspectives show how the significance of the art has evolved.

Heimlich, G. 2016. The anthropology and history of rock art in the Lower Congo in perspective. Antiquity 9(353)

127085

Lower Congo in perspective. Antiquity 9(353) 1270 – 85 Pinpointing sources of ochre in Kenyan rock

Pinpointing sources of ochre in Kenyan rock art

A study measuring geochemical

variations in ten ochre sources from

the central Rift Valley shows that differences in chemical composition among sources mean that provenance studies of ochre artefacts, residues, and rock art in Kenya will be feasible.

Zipkin A.M. et al. 2016. In press. Elemental fingerprinting of Kenya Rift Valley ochre deposits for provenance studies of rock art and archaeological pigments. Quaternary

International

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.20

16.08.032

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.20 16.08.032 Stylistic variation & symbolism in Australia’s arid

Stylistic variation & symbolism in Australia’s arid zone

New analysis comparing changes in rock art style with environmental variations affecting mobility and territoriality is challenging the way social networks developed. Stylistic sequences were observed at Kaalpi and Katjarra in the Australian Western Desert.

Macdonald, J. 2016. In press Discontinuities in arid zone rock art:

Graphic indicators for changing social complexity across space and through

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaa.2016.

08.005

Archaeology http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaa.2016. 08.005 Rock art provides an added perspective to studies of Asian

Rock art provides an added perspective to studies of Asian elephants The International Conference on Asian Elephants in Culture & Nature included two papers on rock art!

Praveen, C.K. Elephas maximus in rock art of Kerala, India. In rock art in Kerala, in the deep south of the Indian peninsula, elephants are depicted in group shelters. They are normally shown as single, tamed elephants used by humans for riding.

Tan, N.H. 2016. Elephants in South-East Asian rock art, an overview. Elephants have been depicted in rock art in many parts of Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. The art poses questions about the significance of elephants and the date of their domestication in the region.

Both in A. Manatunga et al. (Eds.), International Conference on Asian Elephants

in Culture & Nature, 20th 21st August 2016: 121, Centre for Asian Studies,

University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka.

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Issue No 16: Autumn 2016

Chasing the butterflies of Brodgar

By Kate Sharpe (Images from the Ness of Brodgar blog: http://www.orkneyjar.com/archaeology/nessofbrodgar/)

Volunteering at the Ness of Brodgar this year, I was privileged to be introduced to a very different type of rock art: very unlike the standard British repertoire of pecked cups, rings, and grooves, these very finely incised marks present a real challenge in terms of identification, recording, and preservation let alone interpretation.

The signature motif amongst these fascinating decorations appears to be the ‘butterfly’, formed from two flattened triangles; numerous examples are now recorded amongst many other, largely geometric designs. As ephemeral and as delicate as their namesakes, these finely incised motifs can be glimpsed only when the sun reaches just the right angle: blink and they disappear again. The two images below illustrate the problem. Can you spot the elusive wings? The figure beneath shows the butterfly motif more clearly. This example, found in Structure 12 in 2011 is now in Stromness Museum where some of the finds from the Ness are displayed.

Museum where some of the finds from the Ness are displayed. Trying to capture the elusive

Trying to capture the elusive butterflies found on the wall of Structure 12 in 2016.

butterflies found on the wall of Structure 12 in 2016. Can you spot the butterflies? There
butterflies found on the wall of Structure 12 in 2016. Can you spot the butterflies? There

Can you spot the butterflies?

There are seven on this slab four are digitally marked

There are seven on this slab – four are digitally marked Butterfly motif (Structure 12, 2011)

Butterfly motif (Structure 12, 2011)

Also in the museum, are images of the stones captured using controlled lighting, which reveal the faint lines that are so difficult to discern in flat light, and prompt the question of how many such marks might have been overlooked at other sites.

The butterflies and other marks are found on the flat, narrow faces of the flagstone slabs used to construct the mysterious structures that continue to baffle the excavators at the Ness. Of particular interest are the marks discovered on the internal faces of the slabs, positioned so that they would not have been visible. This is a context reminiscent of the medieval inscription on stones built into the threshold of Nevern Castle (see RA Issue 12) and intended to ward off evil spirits.

More substantial incised geometric marks have been recorded in previous seasons. In 2015 an incredible stone was recovered from Structure 8, showing very distinct linear decoration (now translated into a knitting pattern for a headband in the site shop!) The geometric lines seem to have more in common with the inscribed lines found on chalk plaques and other objects in the south of England (see Teather 2016 for a summary) than with the cup and ring mark tradition of northern and western Britain and Ireland.

Incised decoration is by no means the only form of prehistoric art at the Ness. Dr Antonia Thomas, whose PhD was devoted to exploring this aspect of the site, has recorded a wide range of examples including variations of the cup and ring style of motif more commonly found on outcrops and boulders in the landscape of northern Britain and Ireland (although none have been recorded from Orkney). These include the distinctive ‘Eye of Brodgar’, now on display in the museum. The 2016 season produced further examples, including a row of seven cups on the interior of Structure 12, and a tiny ‘cartouche’ with mini-cups enclosed by a double incised line in Structure 8. Many of the large blocks within the Ness structures have also been pick-dressed, and we should not, of course, forget the remarkable painted stones (Card & Thomas 2012).

The Ness provides a unique opportunity to explore rock art in all its forms and in contexts as yet unknown in Britain beyond Orkney. But how many butterflies have escaped the excavator’s ‘net’ elsewhere?

Card, N., and A. Thomas. 2012. Painting a picture of Neolithic Orkney:

decorated stonework from the Ness of Brodgar, in A. Cochrane and A. M. Jones (eds.) Visualising the Neolithic: 11124. Oxford: Oxbow.

Visualising the Neolithic : 111 – 24. Oxford: Oxbow. Elaborate ‘headband’ decoration from Structure 8 The

Elaborate ‘headband’ decoration from Structure 8

Elaborate ‘headband’ decoration from Structure 8 The Eye of Brodgar; tiny cartouche; row of cups. Teather,
Elaborate ‘headband’ decoration from Structure 8 The Eye of Brodgar; tiny cartouche; row of cups. Teather,
Elaborate ‘headband’ decoration from Structure 8 The Eye of Brodgar; tiny cartouche; row of cups. Teather,

The Eye of Brodgar; tiny cartouche; row of cups.

Teather, A. 2016 Building new Neolithic connections through chalk art: the value of the archaeological collections of John Pull and James Park Harrison. World Archaeology. DOI: 10.1080/00438243.2016.1207559

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Issue No 16: Autumn 2016

ROCK ART READS: new and forthcoming publications

Lots of new rock art books hit the digital ‘shelves’ over the summer – plenty to choose from when making out your Xmas list! For ease, they are divided by continent with non-regional edited volumes at the end.

by continent with non-regional edited volumes at the end. Sagaholm, Joachim Goldhahn Oxbow Books, £27 (paperback)

Sagaholm, Joachim Goldhahn Oxbow Books, £27 (paperback)

Might the many horse motifs present at Sagaholm in southern Sweden be a metaphor for an exotic, new, Middle Bronze Age cosmology?

Age cosmology?  www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/sagaholm.html Rock art through time, Peter Skoglund Oxbow Books, £20

Rock art through time, Peter Skoglund Oxbow Books, £20 (hardback)

Skoglund reassesses Simrishamn rock art in south-east Scania and examines the relationship between iconography on metals and in rock art.

 www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/rock-art-through-time.html Post-Palaeolithic filiform rock art in Western Europe ,

Post-Palaeolithic filiform rock art in Western Europe, Fernando Coimbra and Umberto Sansoni (eds.) Archaeopress, £24 (paperback)

This collection of papers addresses ‘filiform’ or incised rock art – argued to be a more spontaneous, and immediate form of expression compared to painting or pecking.

www.archaeopress.com/ArchaeopressShop/Public/displayProd

uctDetail.asp?id={FA7386BE-0520-447B-9D54-4E2F8FE756E4}

uctDetail.asp?id={FA7386BE-0520-447B-9D54-4E2F8FE756E4} Rock art of the Vindhyas. An archaeological survey, Ajay

Rock art of the Vindhyas. An archaeological survey, Ajay Pratap Archaeopress, £45 (paperback)

How does rock art, an object fashioned by human hands, differ from tools? Ajay Pratap uses the Vindhyan corpus of rock paintings in Uttar Pradesh to explore further.

www.archaeopress.com/ArchaeopressShop/Public/displayProd

uctDetail.asp?id={1EE69952-B49B-43EF-A6BD-1B5AD58FB983}

uctDetail.asp?id={1EE69952-B49B-43EF-A6BD-1B5AD58FB983} The enigmatic world of ancient graffiti. Rock art in

The enigmatic world of ancient graffiti. Rock art in Chukotka, the Chaunskaya region, Russia, Margarita A. Kir'yak Archaeopress, £25 (paperback)

This monograph analyses the content and semantics of engravings from Rauchuvagytgyn I in northern Cukotka (dated to 2500 years ago).

www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/the-enigmatic-world-of-ancient-

graffiti-the-chaunskaya-region-russia.html

graffiti-the-chaunskaya-region-russia.html Thunder and herds. Rock art of the high plains, Lawrence L

Thunder and herds. Rock art of the high plains, Lawrence L Loendorf Routledge, £24.99 (paperback)

This summary and synthesis of the rock art of the American High Plains, from Archaic times to the historic period, presents a combination of Plains archaeology, rock art sites, and holistic archaeological research.

www.amazon.co.uk/Thunder-Herds-Rock-High-

Plainsebook/dp/B01IVS7XGQ/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1

473257923&sr=1-4&keywords=rock+art+petroglyph

473257923&sr=1-4&keywords=rock+art+petroglyph Paleoart and materiality: the scientific study of rock art

Paleoart and materiality: the scientific study of rock art Robert G. Bednarik, Danae Fiore & Mara Basile (eds.) Archaeopress, £40 (paperback)

Scientific approaches to the materiality of rock art, ranging from recording and sampling methods to data analyses.

www.oxbowbooks.com/oxbow/paleoart-and-materiality-the-

scientific-study-of-rock-art.html

scientific-study-of-rock-art.html Prehistoric art as prehistoric culture. Studies in honour of

Prehistoric art as prehistoric culture. Studies in honour of Professor Rodrigo de Balbín- Behrmann, Primitiva Bueno-Ramírez & Paul G. Bahn (eds.) Archaeopress, £45 (paperback)

Diverse papers cover a variety of the decorated caves which are traditionally defined Palaeolithic art, as well as the open-air art of the period.

www.archaeopress.com/Public/displayProductDetail.asp?id=%7

bA71B7BDC-DFF4-4B7A-943C-1A4BA55AE2F8%7d

bA71B7BDC-DFF4-4B7A-943C-1A4BA55AE2F8%7d Archaeologies of art. Time, place, identity, Inés Domingo

Archaeologies of art. Time, place, identity, Inés Domingo Sanz, Dánae Fiore, Sally K May (eds.) Routledge, £19.31 (paperback)

Key research that examines visual arts of the past and contemporary indigenous societies, placing each art style in its temporal and geographic context.

www.amazon.co.uk/Archaeologies-Art-Place-Identity-

Archaeology-

ebook/dp/B01HTW1GKE/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=14732

57923&sr=1-5&keywords=rock+art+petroglyph

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Issue No 16: Autumn 2016

DATES for your DIARY: forthcoming conferences and other events

If you have an event you would like to publicise here please send me the details.

19 th 21 st Dec 2016 Theoretical Archaeology Group Annual Conference, Southampton University. This year’s theme is ‘Visualisation’ and there are plenty of rock art and image-related sessions, including: Enchanting objects and ways of seeing: visuality and response in prehistoric Europe; Digital visualisation beyond the image: archaeological visualisation making in practice; Images in the making: art-process-archaeology; Unvisualising rock and cave art. Or perhaps you will be tempted to contribute to the session entitled ‘What can archaeologists learn from skateboarders? See website for details: http://www.southampton.ac.uk/tag2016/index.page

19 rdth 20 th Nov 2016 Stonehenge and Avebury World Heritage Site Conference, Devizes Speakers will include: Dr Alison Sheridan (National Museums of Scotland), Dr Serge Cassen (University of Nantes), Prof Tim Darvill (University of Bournemouth), Prof Vince Gaffney (University of Bradford), Dr Josh Pollard (University of Southampton), Julian Richards (Archaeologist and TV Presenter) and many more. See website for details: http://www.stonehengeandaveburywhs.org/

for details: http://www.stonehengeandaveburywhs.org/ 23 r d – 24 t h Jun 2017 Europa 2017: The

23 rd 24 th Jun 2017 Europa 2017: The Bronze Age as Pre-Modern Globalisation, University of Southampton See website for details: http://www.prehistoricsociety.org/events/event/Europa_conference_2017/

INSPIRED BY ROCK ART The Rock Art Show, Blue House Gallery, Schull Following a successful
INSPIRED BY ROCK ART
The Rock Art Show, Blue House
Gallery, Schull
Following a successful six months at the Cork
Public Museum between October 2015 and
March this year a public exhibition of Prehistoric
Irish Rock Art was brought to the Blue House
Gallery in Schull in September. The exhibition
was put together by West Cork residents Finola
Finlay and Robert Harris. It covered rock art
found in Ireland, and very many of the
illustrated examples from the south-west,
particularly County Cork and neighbouring
County Kerry.
Keith Payne’s colourful interpretation of rock art
In 1973 UCC archaeology student Finola Finlay carried out a comprehensive study of rock art from these counties, travelling
on a borrowed Honda 50 motorbike and carrying measuring and tracing equipment. The monochrome illustrations in this
exhibition were made from her drawings. These were augmented by recent drawings made by Robert Harris using
photography and CAD (computer aided design) techniques.
Also included were images by Ken Williams, recognised as the foremost photographer of prehistoric subjects in Ireland. His
photographs, from all over Ireland, demonstrate flash techniques which he has developed to show off the art. The exhibition
was enhanced by work directly inspired by local rock art, by two artists living in West Cork: Brian Lalor’s drypoint engravings
provide a graphic interpretation while Keith Payne’s large, colourful paintings invite us to consider whether the original ‘rock
artists’ might have coloured in their carvings.

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