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Ancient British Rock Art

4 5 dIstrIbutIon of rock Art an overview of primary sites and styles The formal elements of rock carvings exhibit many different styles. The most important sites covered in the text are shown in the map opposite page 1. Locations often have similar types of carvings but also display unique drawings. Likewise, there is no hard and fast rule for the surfaces employed, but examples from Northern England and Scotland generally seem to occur on natural horizontal outcrops, while in Ireland and Anglesey the carvings appear on the walls of passage graves, or on individual vertical stones. Many of the carvings found in passage graves are quite ornate, involving spirals and complex designs, while those on outdoor horizontal surfaces tend to involve cups and rings and more basic patterns. Individual elements such as cups and sets of rings are usually fairly small, ranging from one to eight inches in diameter. However, multiple arrangements of carvings can cover many square yards as can be seen at Achnabreck in the Kilmartin Valley. The drawings are thought to have been created by the process of pecking, gradually chipping away the surface with a stone chisel from a basic scratch to a depth of about one inch. Routing Linn, NorthumberlandChris Mansell
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