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Ancient British Rock Art

24 25 So far we have seen cups and rings mainly existing either alone or in combination. It is time to introduce another interesting element, the tail. These examples from the Kilmartin Valley show tails which extend from central cups or from the inner ring. They may join cups, pair as two tails, or join other tails, but in all of these examples the tail cuts through the rings. At other sites e.g., Millstone Burn in Northumberland the rings are even truncated to allow the tail to pass through. In the example from Cairnbaan opposite top, the tails vary in the way in which they interact with the cups and rings, possibly revealing some function in the style of the tail itself. Some tails are straight and others are curved. One set of rings opposite has two tails which extend and join to enclose a single cup. These are unlikely to be arbitrary decisions and seem to indicate some specific intention. tAILs Achnabreck and Cairnbaan, Argyllshire Achnabreck, Argylleshire Carnbaan, Argyllshire Achnabreck, ArgyleshireChris Mansell
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