Excavating at Copt Howe day 10: The last day of excavation

Another hot day. We conclude the experiments to reproduce rock art. This has been a fascinating exercise, and we now have newly made hammerstones to compare with those from the excavation. We also have an insight into the technique and experience of making the motifs, including the sounds of using the hammers and the distinctive colour of the freshly carved stone. The change in these colours can be observed through time as they are exposed to weathering. 


Above: Newly made rings contrast with the weather surface of the stone (Photo: Aaron Watson, 2018)


Above: A second short film about the experimental rock art making (Video / Edit: Aaron Watson, 2018)


The unbroken sunshine presents us with a final opportunity to see the animated shadows moving across Rock 1 before Trench 1 is filled tomorrow.


Above: Oblique sunlight begins to reveal the motifs (Photo: Aaron Watson, 2018) 


Above: The freshly excavated motifs in the context of the known carvings (Photo: Aaron Watson, 2018)


Above: A 3D model of Rock 1 in oblique sunlight. Please click on the button to navigate (Photogrammetry: Aaron Watson, 2018)


We are visited by Stan Beckensall and Paul Frodsham. They have timed their arrival perfectly to see the light show.


Above: Richard, Stan, Paul, Kate and Pete watch the sunlight (Photo: Aaron Watson, 2018)


Above: Paul, Stan and Richard discuss the site (Photo: Aaron Watson, 2018)


The excavations at Copt Howe were directed by Richard Bradley and Aaron Watson. Many thanks to Yvonne Luke, Diane O'Leary, Nick Russell, Ronnie Scott, Kate Sharpe, Moyra Simon, Peter Style, Sally Taylor and Emma Watson for helping us with the fieldwork.

Thanks also to Historic England for granting permission for us to work at this scheduled monument, and to the National Trust for their support throughout. The excavations were funded by the Prehistoric Society and the Royal Archaeological Institute.

I will update my website with further information as the analysis and interpretation of the excavation continues.