The Cochno Stone, discovered in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland, is thought to have Europe’s best example of Bronze Age cup and ring carvings, with hundreds of grooved spirals, carved indentations, geometric motifs, and confusing patterns of various types.
Rev. James Harvey documented the Cochno Stone for the first time in 1887. The stone was reburied in 1965, 78 years later, to safeguard it from damage. The 42ft by 26ft stone was discovered in 1887 by the Rev. James Harvey in fields near what is now the Faifley housing complex on the outskirts of Clydebank. There are approximately 90 carved indentations known as “cup” and “ring” markings.
Cup and ring markings are a style of ancient art that consists of a concave depression cut into the surface of a rock and occasionally surrounded by concentric circles etched into the stone. The artwork can be found as a petroglyph on natural boulders and outcrops, as well as on megaliths, including slab cists, stone rings, and passage tombs.
The most common locations are Northern England, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, North West Spain, North West Italy, Central Greece, and Switzerland. However, similar types have been discovered worldwide, including in Mexico, Brazil, and India.
The Cochno stone’s cup and ring patterns are considered to be about 5,000 years old, and they are accompanied by an engraved pre-Christian cross placed within an oval, as well as two pairs of carved footprints, each with only four toes. The Cochno Stone has been designated as a scheduled monument and is of national significance due to the variety of marks on it.
Archaeologists cannot confirm what is represented on the enormous slab, which includes details such as planets and stars. Researchers have made no definitive statements on the meaning of the elaborate symbols observed on its surface. Is it a sky map or an earth map? Is it an altar where rituals were performed?
Although the original meaning of the Cochno Stone has been lost, several hypotheses about its purpose have been offered.
Some have even argued that the slab represents a doorway between life and death, symbolizing rebirth. While some researchers believe the elaborate patterns of domes, lines, and rings are an ancient representation of rock art found throughout the planet.
According to specialists, the symbols date back to the Neolithic and early Bronze Ages, but some indications have been discovered dating back to the Iron Age.
Alexander McCallum, a researcher, proposed that the Cochno Stone is a map of other sites in the Clyde Valley. The unique markings, according to Alexander, are reminiscent of the massive crop circles that have frequently been attributed to extraterrestrial civilizations.
Archaeologists have unburied, analyzed, and reburied the Cochno Stone multiple times in recent years. They dug the site and recorded the artwork with current surveying and photography (3D-imaging equipment), hoping that the massive amount of data they’ve gathered will help other researchers decipher these perplexing old lines. As a result, the meaning of the Cochno Stone remains a mystery to this day.
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