The Clyde Mystery
The following is from The Clyde Mystery
by Andrew Lang:
XVII--Disputed Objects Classified
Dr. Munro classifies the disputed objects as Weapons,
Implements, "Amulets" or Pendants, Cup-and-Ring Stones,
"Human Figurines or Idols."
For reasons of convenience, and because what I heard about
group 3, the "amulets or pendants" first led me into this discussion, I shall
here first examine them. Dr. Munro reproduces some of them in one plate (xv. p.
228). He does not say by what process they are reproduced; merely naming them .
. . "objects of slate and stone from Dumbuck."
Dr. Munro describes the "amulets" or "pendants" thus:
"The largest group of objects
(plate XV.) consists of the so-called amulets or pendants of stone, shale, and
shell, some fifteen to twenty specimens of which have been preserved and
recorded as having been found on the different stations, viz., three from
Dunbuie (exclusive of a few perforated oyster shells), eleven from Dumbuck, and
one from Langbank. Their ornamentation is chiefly of the cup-and-ring order,
only a few having patterns composed of straight lines. Some of them are so large
as to be unfit to be used as amulets or pendants, such, for example, as that
represented by no. 14, which is 9 inches long, 3.5 inches broad, and 0.5 inch
thick. The ornamentation consists of a strongly incised line running downwards
from the perforation with small branch lines directed alternately right and
left. Any human being, who would wear this object, either as an ornament or
religious emblem, would be endowed with the most archaic ideas of decorative art
known in the history of human civilisation. Yet we can have no doubt that the
individual who manufactured it, if he were an inhabitant of any of the Clyde
sites, was at the same time living in a period not devoid of culture, and was in
possession of excellent cutting implements, most likely of iron, with which he
manipulated wood, deer-horn, and other substances. These objects are nearly all
perforated, as if intended for suspension, but sometimes, in addition to this,
there is a large central hole around which there is always an ornamentation,
generally consisting of incised circles or semicircles, with divergent lines
leading into small hollow points, the so-called cup-marks."
I shall return to the theory that the stones were
"ornaments"; meanwhile I proceed to the consideration of "cup-marks" on stones,
large or small.
XVIII--Cup Marks in Crannogs