Visiting rock art on Ben Lawers with BBC Radio 4

BBC radio recently asked if I could talk about cup and ring markings on Ben Lawers, one of the highest mountain ranges in Scotland. They were especially interested in the excavations I had co-directed there, in collaboration with Richard Bradley, between 2007 and 2010.

The Ben Lawers range are in the centre of this picture, as seen from the beach at Kenmore (Photo: Aaron Watson)

So, earlier this week, I found myself being interviewed by Open Country presenter Helen Mark at a cup and ring marked boulder four hundred metres above the silvery expanse of Loch Tay. Rock art can be a rather abstract subject at the best of times, so it was something of a challenge to try and talk about it for a radio audience who could see neither the markings nor the panoramic view.

From left: Thumper the dog, Helen Mark, me, and Andrew Warwick take a break from recording on Ben Lawers (Photo: Mark Smalley)

Also present was Andrew Warwick, Senior Ranger with the National Trust for Scotland, who talked about shielings (post-medieval seasonal dwellings) which are another significant aspect of the archaeology of the Ben Lawers Estate.

The BBC Radio 4 team talking with Andrew Warwick amidst the remains of shielings upon the slopes of Ben Lawers (Photo: Aaron Watson)

This episode of Open Country also features the Scottish Crannog Centre at Kenmore, and was broadcast on Thursday 20th July at 15.00 and Saturday 22nd July at 06.00.

This episode is now available on BBC iPlayer Radio

The episode was produced by Mark Smalley. Many thanks to Mark for permitting me to feature one of his photos.