Sunday, July 20, 2014

Stone unturned

I've been heavy on excavation lately, but this story represents the opposite. In 1964, on the recommendation of archaeologists from Glasgow University, a Bronze Age carved stone was buried to prevent it from being vandalized. The 42' (13 m) by 26' (8 m) Cochno Stone straddles private property and parkland owned by the local council on the edge of Clydebank in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland. The 5,000-year-old stone was discovered by the Rev. James Harvey in 1887 and is covered with some 90 fine examples ofcup and ring” carvings that include indentations, grooved spirals, a ringed cross, and a pair of 4-toed feet. Like the Roman dodecahedrons, the Cochno Stone's use remains a mystery. It may have been a map of the earth or the heavens, with symbols of life, death, and rebirth. Or it may have been the scene of sacrificial ceremonies, with milk or water poured into the grooves and channels as offerings. Historian Alexander McCallum, who has lobbied to have the stone uncovered and may soon succeed, agrees with multiple interpretations: "I think it was probably used for lots of things; it was never used for just one thing and over hundreds of years it changed use."

No comments:

Post a Comment

You may add your comments here.