Recent discoveries

Since the publication of the book in March 2017 there have been a few major discoveries.

Prehistoric chert extraction quarry

In 2017 a prehistoric chert extraction quarry was verified in Cavan Burren, discovered by Seamus O’hUltacháin, aka Jim Nolan. Such chert extraction sites are very rare in Ireland with only a few recorded. (See Chert Quarries page).

Rock Art in the carpark!

Probably one of the most significant recent discovery was in the Cavan Burren carpark!

PB33 – a modified boulder with complex rock art and sculptings.

PB33 is probably the most complex rock art in this part of Ireland. What distinguishes it from other examples in this region is that several of the cup and rings overlap and incorporate surfaces and lines between the cups and rings. The whole complex appears to form an integrated design. 

Whilst interpretation is subjective there is evidence that the raised, remnant, sections have been carved to merge with the rings and that the natural joints have been incorporated in these continuous hollowed lines between several rings. The primary objective of this interpretation is to identify what is most likely to be deliberate workings and what remains as natural, original surfaces. Some observers may wish to assign human/animal characteristics to the complex but this study is limited to trying to identify workings only.

Frank White discovered the rock art in 2018

It is amazing that this, very obvious, rock art went unnoticed given its prominent location. I wasn’t until August 2018 that it was identified by Frank White.

3D Model

Unfortunately the rock art is very difficult to distinguish on the rough grey sandstone rock face. It can only be seen clearly in certain, rare, daylight conditions usually in the morning sunrise on a limited number of days but only if there are no clouds. This is where the 3D model is so useful. Yet even the 3D model which shows the natural colours and textures does not show the full range of workings. Fortunately the 3D model, using SketchFab’s range of settings, can also be shown as a glossy single colour which clearly shows all the cups, rings, channels and raised areas in between.

Boat on a wave

The shape of the boulder resembles a long boat being raised on top of a wave – it even appears to be tossed sideways. Whether this was the intention, or not, the distinct shape of the boulder can only be explained by human shaping. Slabs have been removed from both sides of the boulder as well as from the top. So all the present exposed surfaces are ‘fresh faces’, ie surfaces remaining after removal of the slabs. This boulder was already one of the most important ones in Cavan Burren as it is an ‘Evidence Boulder’. The juxtaposition of rock art on same boulder as these sculptings, quite possibly from the same era, makes this one of the most important rock art discoveries in this part of Ireland. It is also very conveniently placed beside the new carpark! 

 

 

Cavan Burren Carpark PB33 Rock Art

 

Cavan Burren Carpark PB33 Rock Art grey – 3D glossy version

 

 

This is the section from the book on PB33: