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H 290 x W 205 mm

192 pages

155 figures (colour througout)

Published Sep 2022

Archaeopress Archaeology


Paperback: 9781803273167

Digital: 9781803273174

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Rock art; Neolithic; Bronze Age; Britain; Ireland

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Abstractions Based on Circles: Papers on prehistoric rock art presented to Stan Beckensall on his 90th birthday

Edited by Paul Frodsham, Kate Sharpe

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Stan Beckensall is renowned for his work, done on an entirely amateur basis, discovering, recording and interpreting Atlantic rock art in his home county of Northumberland and beyond. Presented on his 90th birthday, this diverse and stimulating collection of papers celebrates his crucial contribution to rock art studies, and looks to the future.



Introduction – Paul Frodsham and Kate Sharpe ;

1. An apt response? Encounters with cup marks and ‘found rock art’ in Cumbria – Kate Sharpe ;

2. Identifying changing ideologies: rock art on and around Neolithic burial monuments in Wales – George H. Nash ;

3. Recognising Irish rock art: the people behind recent discoveries in Ireland – Aoibheann Lambe ;

4. Digging into the Ronald Morris archive: a Kilmartin Glen case-study – Kenny Brophy ;

5. Close encounters: visibility and accessibility of Atlantic rock art in Scotland – Tertia Barnett, Joana Valdez-Tullett and Linda Marie Bjerketvedt ;

6. Experiencing Achnabreck: a rock art site in Kilmartin Glen, Scotland – Aaron Watson ;

7. Solar panels – Richard Bradley ;

8. Cup-marked stones in Bronze Age cairns. Excavations on Fawdon Hill (Redesdale) and other sites in north-east England – Richard Carlton ;

9. Blawearie: a cairnfield excavation in a rock art landscape – Iain Hewitt and Irene Hewitt ;

10. The strange story of the Swastika Stone on Ilkley Moor – Keith Boughey ;

11. Emblems of eternity? Cup-and-ring marks: context and connotation – Paul Frodsham ;

12. Some thoughts on future fieldwork at open-air rock art sites – Clive Waddington ;

13. ‘The site chose me’ - carved rocks and so much more – Aron Mazel ;

14. The Lord of the Rings – Paul G. Bahn ;

15. An inspiration for community archaeology volunteers – Phil Bowyer and Andy Curtis ;

A Beckensall bibliography

About the Author

Paul Frodsham has worked as a professional archaeologist in northern England for more than 30 years, including 14 years with the Northumberland National Park Authority and ten with the North Pennines AONB Partnership. He now runs his own independent consultancy (Oracle Heritage Services) and is an Honorary Fellow in Archaeology at Durham University. He specialises in the development and delivery of innovative community projects, e.g., Altogether Archaeology and Belief in the North East. He has published numerous books and papers on a variety of subjects, mostly relating to the prehistory of northern England, especially Neolithic monuments and rock art.

Kate Sharpe is a Research Fellow at Durham University. Her work has three key strands which often overlap: investigating the use of stone in prehistoric Britain, including megaliths, stone tools and, primarily, rock art; using digital heritage to improve understanding and awareness of the ancient past; and copyediting and writing about archaeology. She has experience managing community rock art projects in Northumberland, Durham and West Yorkshire, although her research focus is the rock art of Cumbria.