Scotlands History

Cup and ring marks

Cup and ring is a form of prehistoric art found widely throughout the world from India to Brazil.

The best Scottish examples are at Balnachraig (Kilmartin Glen, Argyll), Beauly (near Inverness), and Dalgarven Mill (near Kilwinning).

Cup and ring marks were sculpted into local stone slabs. Some of them are quite basic and primitive decorations, others are made with considerable style and precision. They are often concentric rings - like ripples on water. There are also some examples of ‘portable rock art’ where cup and ring marks have been carved on large stones that can be moved.

  • A photograph of cup and ring marks found in Kilmartin Glen

Click on the image to view a larger version.