Rock Art

This page is all about prehistoric Irish rock art. Generally now thought to date to the Neolithic period – about 5,000 years ago – rock art is found on outcrops and boulders in the Irish countryside. The central motif is the cupmark, a semi-spherical indentation that has been picked or bashed out. Cupmarks can occur alone, with nothing in the way of a discernible pattern, or they may appear to be arranged in rough lines or semi-circles. A rock with cupmarks only is labelled a Cupmarked Stone in the National Monuments record. If the carvings include other elements it is labelled Rock Art – the other elements mostly often take the form of circles, single or concentric, and straight or curved lines, occasionally arranged in patterns. Nobody knows if the motifs carry a meaning, but they persist in time (carrying on well into the Bronze Age) and space – the rock art tradition is found all over Atlantic Europe, so it is obvious that they codified or expressed something important to our ancestors.

Rock Art and Red Socks

Rock Art – A Diversion to Wicklow

Ballycummisk Archaeology

New Rock Art Find in West Cork

The Broken Stone

The Broken Stone – Update

Imbolc – How Our Ancestors Welcomed Spring

Experimental Archaeology – Oliver’s Cupmark

Witches’ Marks and Lovelorn Shepherds: Inscribed Rock Art in a Remote Valley

Inspired by Stone

Boyle’s Bealtaine: Rock Art, Ancient Festivals, and Archaeoastronomy

Rock Art: Returning to Derrynablaha

Revealing Rock Art: 150 Years of Images

Presenting Rock Art (Exhibition at the Schull Blue House Gallery)

Launched! (Opening of the Exhibition at the Cork Public Museum)

Rock Art Exhibition – at the Cork Public Museum!

The Complex Cupmark

Derrynablaha Expedition

Mizen Mission

Rock Art Ramblings… away from home!

Our Rock Art Exhibition!

Equinox Adventure

Rock Art in Danger

Derrynablaha 10a.PC9

Diving for Petroglyphs

The Stones Speak

Here Comes the Sun


The Sun Stands Still

Rock Art