5,000-Year-Old Swirling Rock Art in Scotland Remains a Mystery
Archaeologists in Glasgow, Scotland, briefly excavated and then reburied a 5,000-year-old slab of stone that contains incised swirling geometric decorations.
The Cochno Stone, which measures 43 feet by 26 feet (13 by 8 meters), contains swirling decorations, also called “cup and ring marks.” The stone and its decorations have been known to people in the area since at least the 19th century. Decorations similar to these swirls have been found at other prehistoric sites around the world; however, the examples incised in the Cochno Stone are considered to comprise “one of the best examples” of such art in Europe, according to a statement by the University of Glasgow, which led the new study.
The stone slab was fully unearthed in West Dunbartonshire by Rev. James Harvey in 1887. By 1965, the stone had been vandalized with graffiti and damaged by the elements, so a team of archaeologists buried it beneath the dirt in order to protect the artwork . This summer’s two-week re-excavation allowed archaeologists to use modern-day surveying and photography techniques to better record the artwork. [Gallery: Aerial Photos Reveal Mysterious Stone Structures] Read more