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27 September 2016
Amazing rock art panel studied and then reburied in Scotland

A prehistoric stone panel said to be the 'most important in Europe' had been unearthed for the first time in more than 50 years in Clydebank (West Dunbartonshire, Scotland). The Cochno Stone dates to 3000 BCE and is described as one of the best examples of Neolithic or Bronze Age cup and ring markings in Europe. Located next to a housing estate, the stone
Excavation work lasted three weeks and allowed archaeologists to use 3D-imaging technology to make a detailed digital record of the site.
     Dr Kenny Brophy, from Glasgow University, who is leading the dig next to Cochno farm, said: "This is the biggest and, I would argue, one of the most important Neolithic art panels in Europe. The cup and ring marks are extensive but the site just happens to be in the middle of an urban housing scheme in Clydebank. It was last fully open to the elements and the public up until 1965. Sadly, as it was neglected it was also being damaged through vandalism and people just traipsing all over it." A trial excavation last year indicated modern graffiti is "probably extensive" over the stone's surface.
     The joint project between the University of Glasgow archaeology department and the Factum Foundation for Digital Technology in Conservation aims to produce also a lifesize copy of the 8m by 13m stone using the recorded digital data and historical sources, including the graffiti as well as the prehistoric surface.
     The rock art panel has been reburied to protect the national treasure. "Perhaps in the future this site could be turned into a major tourist attraction in Scotland, with a visitor centre, who knows," Brophy said.
     
Edited from BBC News (7 September 2016), PhysOrg (23 September 2016)

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