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Scotland’s Neolithic rock art comprises an outdoor gallery several thousand years old, part of a shared cultural heritage that can be found all along the Atlantic coastline of Europe. 

Digital illustration of two stone age people alongside primitive rock carvings

Our brand new learning resource has been developed in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and Kilmartin Museum. The booklet is packed with fresh ideas, stunning photography and great illustrations. The team drew on the work of leading archaeologists and rock art researchers to describe a time and tradition far removed from today. The comprehensive resource is designed to provide background information and learning suggestions for teachers and practitioners to pass on to their learners. A fresh take on a fascinating subject, this resource will be of interest to teachers, archaeological educators and anyone with an interest in the presentation and interpretation of our ancient past.

Like rings around a cupmark, the archaeology of Atlantic rock art is made of layers of evidence, analysis and interpretation. Each needs the others to make sense of the whole. Using advanced digital techniques our team were able to properly study and record rock art from several Scottish locations to enhance our understanding of this period in time.

By studying and thinking about how rock art connects both within itself and with the natural world, we can explore the cultural ideas and meanings behind the abstract motifs and beautiful designs.

A Song In Stone (PDF)

A Song In Stone - Animated Film

The Neolithic rock art of Europe’s Atlantic coastline forms a distinctive cultural tradition – an ancient outdoor gallery shared between communities past and present. The repeating motifs were carved by many different hands over time, each an individual expression while part of a much greater whole. An abstract tattoo on the skin of the land, created by observers of the natural world and of the heavens above, a cacophony of voices joined together in a common refrain.

This short animated film emphasises the personal experience of carving rock art, exploring the senses of sight, of sound and of touch, and celebrates the humanity behind its performance on a truly universal stage. It can be used in the classroom to introduce the topic and alongside the poem ‘cup and ring’ by Lindsay Macgregor.

The resource was developed in partnership with Historic Environment Scotland and Kilmartin Museum as part of Scotland’s Rock Art Project.