Scottish Rock Art Project – Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland

Rock A with cup and ring marks. The most elaborately decorated on Tormain Hill
Rock A with cup and ring marks. The most elaborately decorated on Tormain Hill

EAFS attended the third of four workshops which took place as part of the Future Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland project. The main outcome of this event is to be a research agenda for carved stones in Scotland, a thematic Scottish Archaeology Research Framework (ScARF).

As this was the first ever gathering of the wider carved stones research community, of specialists and non-specialists, the emphasis was on networking – on identifying research ideas and possible synergies. To stimulate discussion of shared interests, all attendees were asked to bring an A3 poster concisely summarizing their ongoing and future research interests. The theme chosen by EAFS for their poster was ‘Recording Rock Art’, the main subject being the Society work on Tormain Hill, Ratho, Midlothian.

The Carved Stones project, running from February 2015 to April 2016, is a strategic effort to link, inspire, mobilize and help direct the efforts of all those with an interest in or responsibility for carved stones in Scotland. The aim is to stimulate research into all aspects of carved stones in order to promote an increased awareness of the interest, significance and value of this important aspect of our heritage. This in turn will help improve handling of their care, for wider public benefit.

In order to achieve the aims of the project it will be necessary to take stock of existing and ongoing research both in Scotland and internationally and to this end leading practitioners from England, Ireland and Sweden are being involved. The end result should enable Scotland to establish a benchmark against which all future recording, preservation and research can be measured. Already two specific areas have been identified for particular study, the digital recording of carved stones (RSE Workshop 1) and carved stones associated with churches (RSE Workshop 2).


  • Workshop 1 – Digital Recording of Carved Stones for research: where are we and where can we go.
  • Workshop 2 – At the door of the church? Research and Carved Stones at Ecclesiastical Sites.
  • Workshop 3 – New Thinking on Carved Stones in Scotland
  • Workshop 4 – Future thinking: ScARF for Carved Stones in Scotland