This was the fifth peice of rock art I had looked for in this townland and the only one I managed to find on my first attempt. I had been looking for two hours and it was such a relief to almost stumble across this glorious example.
This panel is about 1m x 1.5m and flush with the ground, with the long axis pointing roughly south. The surface has several motifs that are quite porrly executed - the circles aren't quite circular and have bulges sticking out of them. What is truly amazing is that you can see ever peck mark caused by whatever tool the person that made these markings used to create them!
Most of the carvings are at the southwest corner of the slab. Here there is a cup mark with three rings, several cups with a single ring and a cluster of deep cups.
The siting of this slab is quite interesting. It is slightly down the western slopes of the ridge it occupies, so that to a person around 1.8m tall the large cleft in the mountains to the east sits on the top of the ridge. This means that around the Equinox the sun would appear between the two mounatins opposite and be level with the viewers eyeline.
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Seeing this panel again was like seeing an old friend. I was very surprised at how far up the hill it is - I genuinely didn't realise that I'd been this far up before. It was wonderful to hear Ken's reaction to seeing this stone for the first time. I was still looking at the previous panel while Ken wondered off to look for the next and came across this one. I'm not sure I should relay the exact expression he used, but it was one of suitable awe.
We were very lucky at this stone to get a few breaks in the rainfall and see some wonderful sunlit patches march across the valley floor below.
This is an explanation of (and a bit of a disclaimer for) the coordinates I provide.
Where a GPS figure is given this is the master for all other coordinates. According to my Garmin these are quite accurate.
Where there is no GPS figure the 6 figure grid reference is master for the others. This may not be very accurate as it could have come from the OS maps and could have been read by eye. Consequently, all other cordinates are going to have inaccuracies.
The calculation of Longitude and Latitude uses an algorithm that is not 100% accurate. The long/lat figures are used as a basis for calculating the UTM & ITM coordinates. Consequently, UTM & ITM coordinates are slightly out.
UTM is a global coordinate system - Universal Transverse Mercator - that is at the core of the GPS system.
ITM is the new coordinate system - Irish Transverse Mercator - that is more accurate and more GPS friendly than the Irish Grid Reference system. This will be used on the next generation of Irish OS maps.