The work of recording rock-art goes on. I should like to share three exciting panels of rock-art in England and Scotland that I have recently added to the national archive.
The first is a rock shelter at Ketley Crag in north Northumberland (NU 07432978). It is part of a much larger site on Chatton Park Hill, which has fine outcrop motifs. The shelter has a decorated floor, whose south part I had previously recorded, the rest being grass-covered. It had been earmarked for excavation, but some unknown person/ s stripped off the thin grass cover. The drawing and photographs of this floor were made in January 2001. There was snow on the ground at the time, but it was dryas I worked on my hands and knees in the low overhang. Badgers the other side of the rock shelter wall kept up an accompaniment of noise from their setts. The decoration is truly 'art' in the sense that the motif-makers have taken into account all the subtle variations of natural slope and texture in their design.
A groove runs roughly parallel to the width of the overhang, and another bisects the floor from north to south. Ringed motifs are linked by grooves that flow down the rock, some through cups at the centre of penannulars. The eastern part has the most complexity with faint and strong lines, some superimposed. At the triangular north end is a motif different from the others: an oval cup with a groove running to the edge of the rock, enclosed by an oval groove.
Other sites are recorded as part of my work in Argyll, which I shared with Barbara and Paul Brown.
The first site, known as Blarbuie 1 (NR 890898), in a difficult to reach planted forest, was recorded by Marion Campbell and later by Ronald Morris over 40 years ago. The drawing that they made includes a spiral that does not exist (a misreading of what is natural and what is artificial). The outcrop rises in natural steps, the lowest of which ends with a small overhang. Large motifs
Ketley Crag, Northumberland. Above. The decorated slab is protected by a small overhang.
Below. A long groove at the back (top) and a second running downslope to the edge divide the slab into panels.