The final areas we explored in October 2014 were two hand dug trenches opened up around two large moorstones surfaced at field level. We wanted to explore these surfaces for potential rock art because although they are natural features and products of geological processes, they clearly would have been physically present in the landscape of the quoit when it was constructed and used over 5,000 years ago.
The larger stone was intriguing – it was trapezoidal in shape and a portion had been physically split at one end where a set of drill marks and a broken drill bit were found. A series of deep parallel grooves wrapped around its side and base – whilst the sharp point of an iron ploughshare may have caused these.
Carl, Pam and Tracey discuss the detailed markings.
The grooves are cut in a deep wave and their paralleled pattern is difficult to explain. On the longer side of this stone other fainter marks showed up in late afternoon light. These markings looked layered - multiple zig-zag lines and possible cup marks where the upper central surface looks as though it has been “rubbed out “ with hammer stones to create a new surface for later motifs. The second smaller stone also displayed neatly paralleled deep grooves and had the shape and appearance of a stone pasty! Some flint was found close to the larger stone. These discoveries spurred interest in all the other surface stones on the site and two of the team spent several happy hours scrubbing the stones.
Barbara doing the scrubbing
An intriguing “flag-shaped” motif was found on a surface of Stone 7. There is clearly more potential to explore the surface stones in this field and we hope that mapping, and rubbing the stones will illuminate further.
Stone seven, harrow marks or something more interesting?
The Shield Stone
A professional scan of these stones has been carried out, and the marks have been evaluated.