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Field Visit

Date May 1987

Event ID 1048179

Category Recording

Type Field Visit


An animal is incised on a low earthfast boulder near the W bank of the Barbreck River in upper Gleann Domhain, 170m SSE of the ruined cottage of Blarantobair and 2.9km NE of Turnalt. The exposed face of the boulder measures about 0.65m by 0.51m, and it is only slightly inclined from the horizontal. The carving measures about 0.23m in length and 0.16m in height excluding the antlers.

The animal, which has been identified as a roebuck (1), is shown facing left, and its body and stylised legs are defined by flowing curves, while the neck is straight-sided and the head has an elongated triangular muzzle. A pair of branching antlers rise from the back of the head, but an oblique line in front of them is probably a natural groove. The narrow triangle indicating the tail is set low on the rump and may be a later addition (2). There are no other markings of certainly artificial origin on the stone.

This carving has been identified, because of its naturalistic qualities, as of Neolithic date (3), but the outline has been incised with a sharp tool and is comparatively unweathered, while there is no indication of later recutting. A prehistoric date seems unlikely and it may be fairly recent in origin, perhaps associated with Blarantobair or one of the other small settlements to the N.

RCAHMS 1992, visited May 1987.


(1) PSAS 98, 215-16; ibid 316; Campbell and Sandeman, 37, no. 263. It had previously been identified as a reindeer (ACC List, 12) and a ‘hind’ (Childe, VG in Antiquity 15, 290). Morris describes it as a ‘deer’.

(2) PSAS 98, 215

(3) Childe, loc.cit., followed by Lacaille, The Stone Age in Scotland (1954), 243.

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