Rock art captures the imagination

The project team will provide expert training, guidance and support.
The project team will provide expert training, guidance and support.

The opening event of Kirkcudbright History Society’s 2017/18 programme was an interesting, and beautifully delivered, talk by Joana Valdez-Tullett from Historic Environment Scotland.

Originally from Portugal, Joana studied for a PhD at Southampton University before joining Scotland’s Rock Art Project (ScRAP), which is hosted by Historic Environment Scotland.

Joana started with a wide ranging examination of prehistoric paintings and carvings extant across the world before concentrating on Scotland where there is limited awareness and understanding of rock art.

The ScRAP project is a five-year programme which aims to correct this deficiency by working with local communities to record, research, and raise awareness of Scotland’s prehistoric rock carvings.

Joana explained that the aim of the project is to make a detailed and consistent record of around 2000 known carvings using a text-based recording form, conventional photography and 3D photography as well as adding details of any previously ‘undiscovered’ rock art. Community involvement lies at the heart of ScRAP, and the project is now recruiting people with an interest in rock art or archaeology who might like to help. There are many different ways in which to participate, such as archival research, fieldwork to locate and record known sites or look for new sites, photography and 3D photography (photogrammetry), analysis of the records, stone carving workshops to make replica rock art and get-togethers to share results and ideas. Participants can do as much or as little as they want, depending on their interests. The project team will provide expert training, guidance and support, so no previous experience is necessary. For an insight into what is involved a very useful blog can be found at: