Amateur finds prehistoric rock art in Scotland

Musician and amateur archeologist George Currie has found a large group of cup and ring marks carved on a stone in Perthshire. The stone carvings could date to anywhere between 3,000 to 5,000 years ago.

The cup and ring style is well known in Scotland — George Currie himself has come across several hundred — but this stone has almost 90 carvings on it, an unusually voluminous collection.

Some of the cups have rings around them and a number of linear grooves can also be seen, with some still showing the individual blows of craftsmens’ tools.

Mr. Currie found the stone on land overseen by the National Trust of Scotland, so he sent them GPS co-ordinates of the find as soon as he made it.

Nobody knows what the markings mean or even if they stand for anything in particular.

NTS archeologist for the west of Scotland Derek Alexander said there was a great interest in cup and ring marks.

“There is always going to be a debate about what these things mean.

“They seem to lie on boundaries, so they could be a way to place people in a location. There are also suggestions they are maps of the stars, maps of burial grounds or tribal symbols.”

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Comment by LadyShea
2009-08-18 16:41:38

Is anything known about the people who made them? Who was living in Scotland 3-5K years ago?

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Comment by Jan Brouwer
2009-08-19 15:12:20

Hi LadyShea,
Very little is known about the people who made these enigmatic carvings.
That is mainly caused by the fact that they left no traces other than their cup-and-ring motifs. Some excavations have been carried out around rock art sites but this has not lead yet to definite conclusions.
You have to keep in mind that this “tradition” last for probably 1500-2000 years and that the meaning of these motifs could have changed during that very long period.
So they remain what they are: images of a lost message……. fascinating!

Comment by livius drusus
2009-08-20 10:29:00

Jan is quite right. The carvers haven’t left behind much more that’s survived.

The cup-and-ring motif itself doesn’t tell us a great deal. It is a common one in rock carving, You can even find instances of them in Italy and Greece.

Comment by Jan Brouwer
2009-08-23 06:49:34

Here a link to more photos of this site in the Ben Lawers area by George Currie:


Comment by livius drusus
2009-08-23 23:36:20

Thank you kindly. You can really see the details in those pictures.

Comment by David R. Cowan
2017-06-29 17:07:22

All of these cup marks have been carefully placed over geological faults and pick up natural energy and transmits it across large swathes of Scotland as circuits of energy, with other sacred sites such as burial grounds placed on the outer “working” edge.
This explains why so many apparently perfect rock faces and boulders have not been used – they are in the wrong place. See my Youtube and books for more information

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