This carved stone, although found in a burial cairn in Kilmartin Glen, probably long predates its use as a grave marker. It is decorated with circles characteristic of the cup and ring markings commonly made by prehistoric artists. Indeed it is in itself only a small part of a huge network of standing stones and stone carvings in the area. Far predating most local artefacts to have survived the effects of time, these monuments would have been ancient even to the first to use metal in the area. Whilst the exact function of these cairns, stone circles and markings is even more mysterious now, they give a compelling hint at a rich and diverse prehistoric culture, marking the attempts of our earliest ancestors to make sense of the world around them. Essentially, they are evidence of a complex form of civilisation, prepared to put great effort into ritual, art and the veneration of the dead.
This object has kindly been loaned to Kilmartin House Museum by the National Museums of Scotland.