Decorated stone

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from Wester Yardhouses, Carnwath, Lanarkshire

Postcard of Decorated stone.
© National Museums Scotland

Decorated stone

This decorated sandstone slab, reused face-downwards as a covering to a cist burial, was found at Wester Yardhouses at Carnwath in Lanarkshire. It dates from between 2300 and 1800 BC.

The slab was decorated on one face only with curves, rings and triangles formed by pecking out the shapes. The design is incomplete, with part of it probably destroyed when the stone was reused as a cist cover.

Designs pecked into rocks expressed some aspect of the beliefs of early farming communities, although the symbolism behind the shapes remains obscure.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-035-756-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.EQ 166
Date: Between 2300 and 1800 BC
Material: Stone; with triangles and concentric circles on one side
Dimensions: 1190 mm H x 130 mm L x 1210 mm W
What: Stone / cist cover
Who: James Gilchrist
Where: Scotland, Lanarkshire, Carnwath, Wester Yardhouses
Description: Decorated stone reused as a cist cover, from Wester Yardhouses, Carnwath, Lanarkshire
  • Clarke, D.V., Cowie, T.G., & Foxon, Andrew (eds). Symbols of power at the time of Stonehenge. Edinburgh: National Museums of Antiquities of Scotland, 1985, pp 259-60. 
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