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Upper Gaskan

Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Stone Circle (Neol/bronze Age)(Possible)

Site Name Upper Gaskan

Classification Cup Marked Stone (Prehistoric), Stone Circle (Neol/bronze Age)(Possible)

Canmore ID 25168

Site Number NN76SW 2

NGR NN 7466 6113

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
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Administrative Areas

  • Council Perth And Kinross
  • Parish Blair Atholl
  • Former Region Tayside
  • Former District Perth And Kinross
  • Former County Perthshire

Archaeology Notes

NN76SW 2 7466 6113

(NN 7471 6121) A cup marked stone measuring 5ft 7 1/2ins by 6ft 6ins by 2ft 5ins at one end, and 3ft at the other. There are 16-18 cup marks on the upper surface.

Information from M E C Stewart, 20 November 1962.

NN 7465 6114. A cup marked stone generally as described by Stewart except that there are at least twenty-eight cup marks.

Surveyed at 1/2500.

Visited by OS (WDJ) 19 June 1969

During clearance of forestry from around the stone a possible stone circle was identified.

Information from B Sewell, 4 September 1991.

NMRS, MS/804.


Excavation (13 November 2017 - 24 November 2017)

NN 7466 6113 A programme of work was undertaken,

13–24 November 2017, to record and investigate an isolated

rock art site and assess the impact of commercial forestry.

Analysis of the cup-marked boulder revealed 29 cups and

a further probable 10 cups. The cup-marked rock was

shown to be sitting on a cobble-rich glacial till which had

not been modified by human activity. However, away from

the cup-marked rock, ploughing in advance of commercial

afforestation had severely disrupted the glacial till deposit

as well as the overlying topsoil. Where ploughing had not

taken place around the cup-marked rock there was a light

scattering of sharp quartz fragments which occurred on the

top of the glacial till deposit, at the base of the topsoil and

within the topsoil. There was a significant reduction in the

density of quartz pieces away from the cup-marked rock and

nearly all of the quartz is the result of human action (the use

of quartz hammerstones, tool production and perhaps even

the addition of glittering quartz decoration to the cup-marked



rock). An anthropomorphic shaped fragment of psammite

was also recovered; it had not been deliberately shaped but

may have selected because of its uncanny resemblance to the

human form. Small fragments of charcoal were noted in the

lower topsoil profile adjacent to the cup-marked rock, but

unfortunately this was not a sealed deposit and the charcoal

may well date to later farming activities when the site lay

within a walled field system. The roots of the commercial

forestry tended not to penetrate the glacial till but ran within

and at the base of the overlying topsoil. It was ascertained

that the relatively young scots pine tree roots extended up to

5m from their respective trunk.

Archive: NRHE (intended)

Funder: Forestry Commission Scotland

Clare Ellis – Argyll Archaeology

(Source: DES, Volume 19)


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