FOLLOWING on from the successful work carried out at the Cochno Stone, a campaign of excavation of all known rock-art sites to the north of Faifley has been completed.

A team from the University of Glasgow carried out excavations in Auchnacraig Park, where there are three rock-art panels (outcrops with cup-and-ring markings on them) in a clearing which used to be the garden of Auchnacraig House.

These 5,000-year-old archaeological sites were studied by a team of archaeology students, local volunteers and children from local primary and secondary schools.

Results were produced with the discovery of previously unknown rock art and a variety of stones and material sent to the University of Glasgow for analysis.

Small trenches were opened up around two of the rock outcrops and the team looked for ancient and more recent traces of activity around the rocks.

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Finds included old coins and a marble which might have been used in games played on the cup-and-ring rock art.

Dr Kenny Brophy, director of the project, said: “The excavations at Auchnacraig are the next stage in one of the most ambitious rock-art excavation projects ever carried out in Britain.

“It’s been really exciting to be back in Faifley to do more excavation almost three years after we revealed and recorded the Cochno Stone.”

Clydebank MSP, Gil Paterson, who has a keen interest in the project, visited the site.

He told the Post: “One of the most pleasing things for me was to be confronted with a team of young budding archaeologists from Clydebank High school who were very involved in the project. It was also great that more than 100 children from Edinbarnet had also visited the site and got their hands dirty.

“It was reported to me they all very much enjoyed the experience of doing such very exciting and important work.

“We have magnificent examples of ancient rock art right here on our doorstep and it is fascinating to learn of petroglyphs from 5000 years ago.

“It is really exciting to hear of new discoveries to add to our pre-historic heritage and I must, once again praise Dr Kenny Brophy for his unstinting work to reveal and promote our ancient art which is among the finest in Europe.

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“Kenny and his team work so hard and they always seek to encourage the whole community to engage with our ancient legacy.”

The work is funded by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and permission to carry out the excavations granted by West Dunbartonshire Council.

Dr Brophy added: “Dozens of visitors to the site suggested that there is a growing interest in the amazing prehistoric heritage of Clydebank.

“But it has also been great to be able to speak to local people during the excavations and hear their memories of Auchnacraig House and the rock art. I have been learning something new about this place every day”.

The excavations will be featured in the BBC TV show Digging for Britain later this year, and the rock art can be visited by foot from the Cochno Road car park and the Waulking Mill Road entry to Auchnacraig Park.

Follow @cochnostone on Twitter to be kept updated.