Evidence split boulders


NOTE These pages are being regularly updated.

Modified Boulders – Evidence Boulders

One of the most important aspects of this survey is the ‘EVIDENCE BOULDERS’. These are generally split boulders with one worked section and one adjacent unworked section. The two sections can be ‘refitted’. Other examples of evidence boulders may display ‘geological’ evidence of anthropogenic work – eg. where channels are cut across bedding planes. Such evidence is critical where we are examining features that may at first glance appear to be natural. The evidence boulders also form the basis for ‘comparative’ evidence in examining other boulders with similar features. Furthermore as more comparative examples accumulate the boulder features can then be verified as anthropogenic by statistically significant occurrences. This area is most fortunate to have an incredible number of evidence boulders.

Archaeologists tend to adopt the cautious approach – so there are practically no Archaeologists involved so far in this area’s investigations.

The evidence is, however, undeniable. When the fresh faces of two sections of a split boulder can be shown to have a worked and unworked surface there is no denying it. When a dozen split boulders can be shown to have their fresh faces sculpted and their sections modified in numerous ways this must be surely convincing. Below are a selection of the many split ‘evidence boulders’.

Evidence Boulders – Split boulders.

One unique feature in this area are the number boulders which have been split and then modified. These provide some of the most spectacular monuments and serve as the most important ‘ Evidence Boulders’.

Before presenting the incredible human sculpting of these boulders it is worth showing  how these were prepared by splitting sections away to expose the ‘fresh faces’ that were then carved. Crucially it is the presence of the different worked and worked sections that provides the overwhelming evidence of the human work in modifying these monuments.

In order to show that the sections are a matching pair the two sections can be ‘refitted’ using a number of techniques. To physically move and match them wouldn’t be possible so virtual, ‘mental refitting’, is the basis of these techniques. The most convincing refitting can be shown using an animation of 3D scanned models of the sections. More detailed refitting can be demonstrated using tinfoil and wire mesh refitting techniques – these techniques are also more precise and can show the contrasts between worked and un-worked sections’ surfaces.

Below are animations showing how seven important split boulders were separated into sections and how they can be ‘refitted’. In each case at least two sections remain in situ and ‘worked’ versus ‘unworked’ surfaces are compared thereby providing proof of human modifications. Most of these example provide validation for the main classifications of sculpting and boulder monument types. (Note this section merely shows how they have been both split and worked, detailed sculptings and modifications are dealt with in Unique Boulders section).

  1. 701 can be seen on way into Cavan Burren, it has a triangular shape and both cup marks and sculptings
  2. 704 is one of the most important split boulders with both cup marks, sculpting and multiple props and provides proof for a range of sculpting types
  3. AGHRM – Aghatirourke rock art, split boulder, has unique rock art on one surface and sculpting on the other
  4. Legg is a multiple split boulder with cup marks and a prehistoric wall attached
  5. PB23 is one of the best examples of rock art in Cavan Burren
  6. PB40 has sculptings and one section propped and provides proof for a range of sculpting types
  7. PB48 has sculptings and provides proof for a range of sculpting types


Split Boulders
PB40 animation iPhone.m4v 704 3D animation–iPhone.m4v
PB48 slab refit-V.m4v 701 refit5-.m4v
PB23 Refit3-.m4v
Legg Presentation-2.m4v AGHRM video-.m4v
Legg Ring Mark-1.MP4