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Petrosomatoglyph

Petrosomatoglyph

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A petrosomatoglyph is an image of parts of a human or animal body incised in rock. Many were created by Celtic peoples, such as the Picts
Picts
The Picts were a group of Late Iron Age and Early Mediaeval people living in what is now eastern and northern Scotland. There is an association with the distribution of brochs, place names beginning 'Pit-', for instance Pitlochry, and Pictish stones. They are recorded from before the Roman conquest...

, Scots
Gaels
The Gaels or Goidels are speakers of one of the Goidelic Celtic languages: Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and Manx. Goidelic speech originated in Ireland and subsequently spread to western and northern Scotland and the Isle of Man....

, Irish
Irish people
The Irish people are an ethnic group who originate in Ireland, an island in northwestern Europe. Ireland has been populated for around 9,000 years , with the Irish people's earliest ancestors recorded having legends of being descended from groups such as the Nemedians, Fomorians, Fir Bolg, Tuatha...

, Cornish
Cornish people
The Cornish are a people associated with Cornwall, a county and Duchy in the south-west of the United Kingdom that is seen in some respects as distinct from England, having more in common with the other Celtic parts of the United Kingdom such as Wales, as well as with other Celtic nations in Europe...

, Cumbria
Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

ns, Breton
Breton people
The Bretons are an ethnic group located in the region of Brittany in France. They trace much of their heritage to groups of Brythonic speakers who emigrated from southwestern Great Britain in waves from the 3rd to 6th century into the Armorican peninsula, subsequently named Brittany after them.The...

s and Welsh
Welsh people
The Welsh people are an ethnic group and nation associated with Wales and the Welsh language.John Davies argues that the origin of the "Welsh nation" can be traced to the late 4th and early 5th centuries, following the Roman departure from Britain, although Brythonic Celtic languages seem to have...

. These representations date from the Early Middle Ages
Early Middle Ages
The Early Middle Ages was the period of European history lasting from the 5th century to approximately 1000. The Early Middle Ages followed the decline of the Western Roman Empire and preceded the High Middle Ages...

; others of uncertain purpose date back to megalith
Megalith
A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. Megalithic describes structures made of such large stones, utilizing an interlocking system without the use of mortar or cement.The word 'megalith' comes from the Ancient...

ic times. They were an important form of symbolism, used in religious and secular ceremonies, such as the crowning of kings. Some are regarded as artefacts linked to saints and folklore
Folklore
Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

 heroes, such as King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

.

The word comes from the Greek πέτρα - petra ("stone"), σῶμα - soma ("body"), and γλύφειν - glyphein ("to carve"). Feet are the most common; however, knees, elbows, hands, head, fingers, etc., are also found.

The term petrosomatoglyph should not be confused with petroglyph
Petroglyph
Petroglyphs are pictogram and logogram images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, and abrading. Outside North America, scholars often use terms such as "carving", "engraving", or other descriptions of the technique to refer to such images...

, which covers all incised representations of living or non-living things, or with pictograph, which is an image drawn or painted on a rock face, and both of which contribute to the wider and more general category of rock art. Petroform
Petroform
Petroforms, also known as boulder outlines or boulder mosaics, are human-made shapes and patterns made by lining up large rocks on the open ground, often on quite level areas. Petroforms in North America were originally made by Indigenous Peoples, who used various terms to describe them...

s, or patterns and shapes such as labyrinths and mazes made by many large rocks and boulders in rows over the ground, are also quite different.

Stylised representations of parts of the body are often open to dispute and are therefore on the fringes of acceptability as identifiable petrosomatoglyphs. Natural objects, such as rock crystals and rock formations which look like petrosomatoglyphs, whole animals, plants, etc., are collectively called "mimeoliths".

Natural versus man-made petrosomatoglyphs


Many examples of petrosomatoglyphs are likely to be natural in origin, such as rock-cut basin
Rock-cut basin
A rock-cut basin, in this usage of the term, is a natural phenomenon. They are cylindrical depressions cut into stream or river beds, often filled with water. Such plucked-bedrock pits are created by kolks; powerful vortices within the water currents which spin small boulders around, eroding out...

s in rivers; however they still have relevance as they have often become associated with Saints, legendary figures, fairies, etc.

The word itself comes from the Greek petros ("stone"), soma ("body"), and glyphein ("to carve"). Feet are the most common; however, knees, mythological heroes, saints, etc. Some may be man-made but have become a petrosomatoglyph by the original function being forgotten. Creationists have been accused of faking human footprints in areas where dinosaur prints are found to support their beliefs.

A typical example of a possibly re-used concavity is the footprint on Dunadd
Dunadd
Dunadd, , is an Iron Age and later hillfort near Kilmartin in Argyll and Bute, Scotland and believed to be the capital of the ancient kingdom of Dál Riata.-Description:...

 which some locals at one time thought was a cast for a bronze axe head. A pseudofossil
Pseudofossil
Pseudofossils are inorganic objects, markings, or impressions that might be mistaken for fossils. Pseudofossils may be misleading, as some types of mineral deposits can mimic lifeforms by forming what appear to be highly detailed or organized structures. One common example is when manganese oxides...

 of an apparent footprint of a human foot wearing a sandal with a trilobite
Trilobite
Trilobites are a well-known fossil group of extinct marine arthropods that form the class Trilobita. The first appearance of trilobites in the fossil record defines the base of the Atdabanian stage of the Early Cambrian period , and they flourished throughout the lower Paleozoic era before...

 fossil in the print has been quoted by anti-evolutionists to show that modern man did walk the earth at this time, around five hundred million years ago. The Burdick Print (or Burdick Track) from Glen Rose, Texas
Glen Rose, Texas
Glen Rose is a city in Somervell County, Texas, United States. It is the county seat of Somervell County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,444. Glen Rose is part of the Granbury micropolitan area.-19th century:...

, USA, is claimed by some creationists to be part of a "giant man track", walking alongside dinosaurs.

Dogs


In the Mabinogion
Mabinogion
The Mabinogion is the title given to a collection of eleven prose stories collated from medieval Welsh manuscripts. The tales draw on pre-Christian Celtic mythology, international folktale motifs, and early medieval historical traditions...

, the story is told of Culhwch and Olwen, and part of this relates to the hunting by King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

 and his knights of the wild boar Twrch Trwyth with dogs. Cefn Carn Cafall (the ridge of Cafall's cairn) is a mountain near Builth in Breconshire where the footprint of King Arthur's favourite hunting dog, Cafall, is located in a conglomerate boulder on top of the cairn. If taken away, the boulder always mysteriously returns to its position on the cairn. Cafal or Cabal also appears in Geraint of the Mabinogion as Arthur's favourite hunting dog in the hunting of the white stag. The Black Dog
Black Shuck
Black Shuck, Old Shuck, Old Shock or simply Shuck is the name given to a ghostly black dog which is said to roam the coastline and countryside of East Anglia...

 of Blythburgh
Blythburgh
Blythburgh is a small English village in an area known as the Sandlings, part of the Suffolk heritage coast. Located close to an area of flooded marshland and mud-flats, in 2007 its population was estimated to be 300. Blythburgh is best known for its church, Holy Trinity, internationally known as...

 in Suffolk entered the church and killed a few people in its progress through the building before exiting and leaving its claw-marks on various stones in the building.

Horses


In Europe: Wales and Cornwall Royal and other horses were sacred to Epona
Epona
In Gallo-Roman religion, Epona was a protector of horses, donkeys, and mules. She was particularly a goddess of fertility, as shown by her attributes of a patera, cornucopia, ears of grain and the presence of foals in some sculptures suggested that the goddess and her horses were leaders of the...

, the horse-goddess. Near Castell Cilan in Gwynedd, North Wales, is a stone embedded in the ground bearing the hoof-print of King Einion
Einion Yrth ap Cunedda
Einion ap Cunedda , also known as Einion Yrth was a king of Gwynedd.One of the sons of Cunedda, it is believed he travelled with his father to north Wales in the early 450s to expel Irish raiders from the region. After his father's death, Einion inherited control over the newly founded kingdom of...

's horse. At Llanllyfni in Wales is the hoof-print of the horse of St. Gredfyw. Close to Llyn Barfog in Wales is a hoof-print etched deep into the rock "Carn March Arthur", or the "Stone of Arthur's Horse", which was supposedly made by King Arthur's mount, Llamrai, when it was hauling the terrible Addanc
Addanc
The Afanc is a lake monster from Welsh mythology. Its exact description varies; it is described alternately as resembling a crocodile, beaver or dwarf-like creature, and is sometimes said to be a demon...

, or "afanc" monster, from the lake. Not far from the Devil's Quoit
Dolmen
A dolmen—also known as a portal tomb, portal grave, dolmain , cromlech , anta , Hünengrab/Hünenbett , Adamra , Ispun , Hunebed , dös , goindol or quoit—is a type of single-chamber megalithic tomb, usually consisting of...

 in St. Columb
St Columb Major
St Columb Major is a civil parish and town in Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. Often referred to locally as St Columb, it is situated approximately seven miles southwest of Wadebridge and six miles east of Newquay...

, on the edge of Goss Moor in Cornwall, is a large stone with four deeply impressed marks, known as "King Arthur's Stone". The marks are said to be footprints made by the horse upon which Arthur rode when he resided at Castle an Dinas and hunted on the moors. A Welsh legend has King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

 pursuing Morgan le Fay
Morgan le Fay
Morgan le Fay , alternatively known as Morgane, Morgaine, Morgana and other variants, is a powerful sorceress in the Arthurian legend. Early works featuring Morgan do not elaborate her character beyond her role as a fay or magician...

, who turns herself into a stone. Arthur's steed leaps across the Bristol Channel
Bristol Channel
The Bristol Channel is a major inlet in the island of Great Britain, separating South Wales from Devon and Somerset in South West England. It extends from the lower estuary of the River Severn to the North Atlantic Ocean...

, leaving its hoof-prints on a rock.

In Europe: Scotland At Loch Loran in Kilmichael, Argyll and Bute
Isle of Bute
Bute is an island in the Firth of Clyde in Scotland. Formerly part of the county of Buteshire, it now constitutes part of the council area of Argyll and Bute. Its resident population was 7,228 in April 2001.-Geography:...

, are five flat stones bearing what may be natural markings improved by light pecking. They lie under water near the inlet at the northern end of the loch and can be best seen in dry weather. Two of the markings are called the "Fairy
Fairy
A fairy is a type of mythical being or legendary creature, a form of spirit, often described as metaphysical, supernatural or preternatural.Fairies resemble various beings of other mythologies, though even folklore that uses the term...

 Footprints", and close behind them are two ovals and several V-hollows suggesting large hoof-prints. On Loch Etiveside, near Ben Cruachan
Ben Cruachan
Ben Cruachan is a 1126 m mountain that is the highest point in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It gives its name to the Cruachan Dam, a pumped-storage hydroelectric power station located in a cavern inside the mountain, as well as providing the slogan for Clan Campbell.It is the high point of a...

 in Argyll
Argyll
Argyll , archaically Argyle , is a region of western Scotland corresponding with most of the part of ancient Dál Riata that was located on the island of Great Britain, and in a historical context can be used to mean the entire western coast between the Mull of Kintyre and Cape Wrath...

, is the place named "Horseshoes" indicating the stone by the loch's side where the horse belonging to the son of the winter hag (the Cailleach or Carlin) left its hoof-prints as it leapt across an arm of the sea. At Shielhill Bridge near Memus in Angus
Angus
Angus is one of the 32 local government council areas of Scotland, a registration county and a lieutenancy area. The council area borders Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross and Dundee City...

, Scotland, a Kelpie
Kelpie
The kelpie is a supernatural water horse from Celtic folklore that is believed to haunt the rivers and lochs of Scotland and Ireland; the name may be from Scottish Gaelic cailpeach or colpach "heifer, colt".-Description and behaviour:...

's cloven hoof mark is to be seen on a stone in the river. At Kelso in Roxburgh Street is the outline of a horseshoe where the horse of Prince Charles Edward Stuart cast a shoe as he was riding it through the town on his way to Carlisle in 1745. Sir Fergus Barclay
Barclay
-People:* Barclay , people with the surname Barclay* Clan BarclayFictional* Andy Barclay, the protagonist in the first three films of the Child's Play series* Reginald Barclay, character in Star Trek: The Next Generation-Business:...

, Baron of Ardrossan
Ardrossan
Ardrossan is a town on the North Ayrshire coast in south-western Scotland. The name "Ardrossan" describes its physical position — 'ard' from the Gaelic àird meaning headland, 'ros' a promontory and the diminutive suffix '-an' - headland of the little promontory...

 was in league with the devil, and in one of his dealings, he set the task of the devil to make ropes from sand; upon failing to do so, Satan kicked the castle with his hoof and left a hoof-print. A horse's hoof is carved on a rock at Eggerness in Galloway, Scotland.

In Europe: England At Tedstone Delamere
Tedstone Delamere
Tedstone Delamere is a village in Herefordshire, England, north east of Bromyard.St James' Church chancel was added by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1856-57. The Buildings of England: Herefordshire, Nikolaus Pevsner, 1963 p106 ISBN 0-14-071025-6...

 in Herefordshire
Herefordshire
Herefordshire is a historic and ceremonial county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes it is a NUTS 3 region and is one of three counties that comprise the "Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire" NUTS 2 region. It also forms a unitary district known as the...

, England, the Sapey Brook runs its course to Upper Sapey. A mare and a colt had been stolen, and the hoof-prints stopped at the bank of the brook. The owner prayed for their safe return and, upon examining the bed of the brook, saw hoof-prints clearly visible in the rocky bottom. These hoof-prints were followed and, the thief caught, the horses being safely recovered. The nearby Hoar Stone is said to be the horse thief petrified for his crimes. A later version involves Saint Catherine of Ledbury
Ledbury
Ledbury is a town in Herefordshire, England, lying east of Hereford, and south of the Malvern Hills.Today, Ledbury is a thriving market town in rural England. The town has a large number of timber framed buildings, in particular along Church Lane and High Street. One of Ledbury's most outstanding...

 as the owner of the horses.

In Asia A winged horse named El-Buraq, which had the face and breasts of a woman and the tail of a peacock, was tethered for a period of time on the Rock, or foundation stone of the Holy Jewish Temple in Israel
Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, leaving a hoof-print on the Rock. It is said that the hoof print of Muhammad's steed, El Burak, from which he was propelled to heaven, can be seen imprinted in the Foundation Stone in Jerusalem.

Other animals


, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

, Canada, features footprint petrosomatoglyphs of bison, deer, elk and antelope.

Cattle At South Lopham in Norfolk
Norfolk
Norfolk is a low-lying county in the East of England. It has borders with Lincolnshire to the west, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea coast and to the north-west the county is bordered by The Wash. The county...

 is the Ox-Foot Stone, which lies in a meadow and bears the imprint of an ox's foot. The story goes that in a time of great famine, a cow appeared and allowed herself to be milked by the starving poor; however, when the famine ceased, the cow struck its foot against the stone leaving the imprint and then vanished. The stone now stands at the door of Oxfootstone farm. A sacred Celtic bull is said to have left its hoof print in a stone "as if it were the softest wax" in a legend relating to Saint Ninian.

Bears In Roseville, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

, a bear footprint was carved into one portion of the Northstar stone representative of a bear walking in a docile manner, the back print overlapping with the print of the forepaw. A bear footprint carving is located in Northwestern California. A large carving representing the claw marks of a bear can be seen at Chaw'se, Indian Grinding Rock State Park, near Fiddletown, California. . Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

, Canada, contains grizzly bear
Grizzly Bear
The grizzly bear , also known as the silvertip bear, the grizzly, or the North American brown bear, is a subspecies of brown bear that generally lives in the uplands of western North America...

 paw print petroglyphs.

Fairies


At Loch Loran in Kilmichael, Argyll and Bute, are five flat stones bearing what may be natural markings improved by light pecking. They lie under water near the inlet at the northern end of the loch and can be best seen in dry weather. Two of the markings are called the "Fairy Footprints", being 11" overall, close together, with narrow heels which point across the loch. The left foot has possibly artificially added toes. Close behind are two ovals and several V-hollows suggesting large hoof-prints. They were not located on a visit in 1970. On Wangan Island, one of the Penghu group between China and Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, are a group of fairy footprints on the top of Tiantai hill. In the very remote Pony Hills, New Mexico, near the desert border with Mexico, are examples of shamanic rock art. The site is located around a spring-fed rock pool. The images depict a variety of spirit forms and also tiny carved footprints—the trail of Water Baby spirits trekking from one pool to another.

The devil


At the ruined Kirk of Lady, near Overbister on Sanday, Orkney
Sanday, Orkney
Sanday is one of the inhabited islands in the Orkney Islands, off the north coast of Scotland. With an area of , it is the third largest of the Orkney Islands. The main centres of population are Lady Village and Kettletoft. Sanday can be reached by Orkney Ferries or plane from Kirkwall on the...

, are the Devil's Fingermarks, incised as parallel grooves into the parapet of the kirk. In North Kingstown is a large, granite ledge known as Devil's Foot Rock. Legends going back to the colonial era tell of a squaw being chased by the devil. Some say that she fled from Boston. Her pursuer is said to have left his footprints at Devil's Foot Rock, then at Chimney Hill in South Kingstown, and finally at Block Island.

At Dol de Bretagne in Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

 are found the claw mark of the devil on Mont Dol as well as the footprints of St. Michael. Near Holmfirth
Holmfirth
Holmfirth is a small town located on the A6024 Woodhead Road in the Holme Valley, within the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England. Centred upon the confluence of the Holme and Ribble rivers, Holmfirth is south of Huddersfield and from Glossop. It mostly consists of...

 in Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

, the devil left his footprints as scorch marks on Netherton Edge. One day, the devil disguised himself as a druid
Druid
A druid was a member of the priestly class in Britain, Ireland, and Gaul, and possibly other parts of Celtic western Europe, during the Iron Age....

 in an attempt to gain favour with the old priests but was discovered in his plans and so, in anger, flew out across the hills carrying a great stone with him, which he dropped from the skies, and it landed where the Hood Hill Stone still remains. Also, in anger, he jumped down and stood on the great rock and in doing so, left his footprint impressed upon the stone. The site is at Kilburn, Northallerton
Northallerton
Northallerton is an affluent market town and civil parish in the Hambleton district of North Yorkshire, England. It lies in the Vale of Mowbray and at the northern end of the Vale of York. It has a population of 15,741 according to the 2001 census...

, in Yorkshire
Yorkshire
Yorkshire is a historic county of northern England and the largest in the United Kingdom. Because of its great size in comparison to other English counties, functions have been increasingly undertaken over time by its subdivisions, which have also been subject to periodic reform...

. In Lancashire, the devil threw stones at Clitheroe
Clitheroe
Clitheroe is a town and civil parish in the Borough of Ribble Valley in Lancashire, England. It is 1½ miles from the Forest of Bowland and is often used as a base for tourists in the area. It has a population of 14,697...

 Castle and left his footprints in Deerstones Quarry near Pendle. At Castle Bentheim
Bentheim
County of Bentheim is a district in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is bounded by the Dutch provinces of Overijssel and Drenthe, the district of Emsland, and the districts of Steinfurt and Borken in North Rhine-Westphalia.- History :The District has roughly the same territory as the County of...

 in Germany, there is a curious smooth rock that the devil used as a pillow, leaving behind an imprint of his ear. In Cologne
Cologne
Cologne is Germany's fourth-largest city , and is the largest city both in the Germany Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia and within the Rhine-Ruhr Metropolitan Area, one of the major European metropolitan areas with more than ten million inhabitants.Cologne is located on both sides of the...

, on a heavy stone called Teufelsstein, are imprinted the hands and talons of the devil. The Lugenstein in the cathedral square at Halberstadt
Halberstadt
Halberstadt is a town in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt and the capital of the district of Harz. It is located on the German Half-Timbered House Road and the Magdeburg–Thale railway....

 was carried there by the devil to destroy the cathedral. It was too heavy, and he dropped it, leaving behind an imprint of his red hot thumb.

Sir Fergus Barclay, also known as the De'il of Ardrossan
Ardrossan
Ardrossan is a town on the North Ayrshire coast in south-western Scotland. The name "Ardrossan" describes its physical position — 'ard' from the Gaelic àird meaning headland, 'ros' a promontory and the diminutive suffix '-an' - headland of the little promontory...

, was a horseman, famous around the lands for his tremendous skill. The secret to his skill, however, was a magical bridle, which was given to Barclay by the devil, in exchange for his soul. However, the devil was tricked by Barclay into giving his soul back. Infuriated by this trickery, the devil attacked the castle in his rage and is said to have left his hoof prints on one of the rocks.

On the eastern wall of the church of Saint Pancras in the ancient monastery of Saint Augustine outside Canterbury is to be seen the imprint of the devil's talons as he was furious that his heathen temple had become a Christian place of worship. On a coping stone of the Devil's Bridge at Kirkby Lonsdale
Kirkby Lonsdale
Kirkby Lonsdale is a small town and civil parish in the South Lakeland district of Cumbria, England, on the River Lune. Historically within Westmorland, it is situated south east of Kendal along the A65. The parish had a population of 1,771 recorded in the 2001 census.Notable buildings include St...

 in Cumbria are the fingermarks of the devil left behind when in his fury at being tricked out of a soul.

At the entrance to the Munich Frauenkirche
Munich Frauenkirche
The Frauenkirche is a church in the Bavarian city of Munich that serves as the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising and seat of its Archbishop. It is a landmark and is considered a symbol of the Bavarian capital city.The church towers are widely visible because of local height...

 church in Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 is located the Devil's Footstep or Teufelsschritt. This mark in a tile resembles a footprint, which according to legend was where the devil
Devil
The Devil is believed in many religions and cultures to be a powerful, supernatural entity that is the personification of evil and the enemy of God and humankind. The nature of the role varies greatly...

 stood after he had made a deal with the builder to finance construction of the church on the condition that it contain no windows. The builder managed to trick the devil by siting columns so that the windows were not visible from the spot where the devil stood at the entrance. The devil eventually worked out that he had been tricked, however he could not enter a consecrated church and could only stand in the entrance foyer, stamping his foot furiously, leaving the footprint that remains visible in the church's entrance today.

Legend also says the devil then rushed outside and manifested its evil spirit in the wind that furiously rages around the church.

Giants


On a natural stone in Cornwall is a foot-shaped impression in a rock in the valley leading to the cliffs and coastal footpath near Chapel Porth. It is said to be the foot mark of Giant Bolster of St Agnes
St Agnes, Cornwall
St Agnes is a civil parish and a large village on the north coast of Cornwall, United Kingdom. The village is situated approximately five miles north of Redruth and ten miles southwest of Newquay....

 legend. Just below the formation, there used to be a Holy Well dedicated to St Agnes, but it dried up due to the mining in the area. Footprints at North Yell, up Hena, in Shetland were thought to be lost but were rediscovered in 1969 by the ordnance survey. The footprint, 12" by 4", is known locally as the "Wartie" and was used to wash in dew or rainwater, and standing in it was supposed to get rid of warts. In legend, it was made by a giant placing one foot here and the other on the Westing of Unst
Unst
Unst is one of the North Isles of the Shetland Islands, Scotland. It is the northernmost of the inhabited British Isles and is the third largest island in Shetland after the Mainland and Yell. It has an area of .Unst is largely grassland, with coastal cliffs...

. In Bristol, the giants Vincent and Goram dug the Avon gorge and left their footprints. Moso's Footprint in Samoa
Samoa
Samoa , officially the Independent State of Samoa, formerly known as Western Samoa is a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands in the South Pacific Ocean. It became independent from New Zealand in 1962. The two main islands of Samoa are Upolu and one of the biggest islands in...

 was made when the giant Moso stepped over to Samoa from Fiji
Fiji
Fiji , officially the Republic of Fiji , is an island nation in Melanesia in the South Pacific Ocean about northeast of New Zealand's North Island...

, and the other footprint can be found on Viti Levu of Fiji. It is a 1 m by 3 m rock enclosure. At the foot of the Doa mountain in Vietnam, towards the west, is a big rock. There are two human footprints on the rock. It is said that the footprints belonged to a giant who used to help the villagers with the construction of their houses. Unfortunately, one of the footprints has been damaged. At Arthur's Stone
Arthur's Stone, Herefordshire
Arthur's Stone, Herefordshire is a Neolithic chambered tomb, or Dolmen, dating from 3,700 BC – 2,700 BC and is situated on the ridge line of a hill overlooking both the Golden Valley, Herefordshire and the Wye Valley, Herefordshire.- Location :...

 chambered tomb in Herefordshire is a "cup mark" stone which bears the imprints of a giant's (or king's) elbow, left behind after he fell dead to the ground, killed by King Arthur.

Adam


On Adam's Peak
Adam's Peak
Sri Pada , is a tall conical mountain located in central Sri Lanka...

 in Sri Lanka, the Sri Pada footprint in the rock is attributed to Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

 by Hindus, to Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

 by Buddhists, and to Adam
Adam
Adam is a figure in the Book of Genesis. According to the creation myth of Abrahamic religions, he is the first human. In the Genesis creation narratives, he was created by Yahweh-Elohim , and the first woman, Eve was formed from his rib...

 by Some Christians.

Abraham


The Maqām Ibrāhīm ("Abraham's place of standing") is a rock kept in a crystal dome next to the Ka‘bah
Kaaba
The Kaaba is a cuboid-shaped building in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and is the most sacred site in Islam. The Qur'an states that the Kaaba was constructed by Abraham, or Ibraheem, in Arabic, and his son Ishmael, or Ismaeel, as said in Arabic, after he had settled in Arabia. The building has a mosque...

 in Mecca. The footprint in it is believed to have been made by Abraham when he was lifting stone blocks to build the Ka‘bah.

Jesus


At the Chapel of the Ascension in Jerusalem, there are a pair of footprints reputed to be those of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 made at the time of his Ascension into heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

.

The church of Saint Sebastian Outside the Walls
San Sebastiano fuori le mura
San Sebastiano fuori le mura , or San Sebastiano ad Catacumbas , is a basilica in Rome, central Italy...

 in Rome houses a stone which, according to tradition, bears the footprints of Jesus when he appeared to Saint Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

 on the Appian Way
Appian Way
The Appian Way was one of the earliest and strategically most important Roman roads of the ancient republic. It connected Rome to Brindisi, Apulia, in southeast Italy...

. A copy of these footprints is preserved, as an ex voto offering, at the Church of Domine Quo Vadis
Church of Domine Quo Vadis
The Church of St Mary in Palmis , better known as Chiesa del Domine Quo Vadis, is a small church southeast of Rome, central Italy. It is located about some 800 m from Porta San Sebastiano, where the Via Ardeatina branches off the Appian Way, on the site where, according to the legend, Saint...

, the chapel marking the traditional spot of Jesus' appearance to Peter.

Henry III of England
Henry III of England
Henry III was the son and successor of John as King of England, reigning for 56 years from 1216 until his death. His contemporaries knew him as Henry of Winchester. He was the first child king in England since the reign of Æthelred the Unready...

 was given a piece of white marble which allegedly carried a trace of one of Jesus' feet, which he had left as a souvenir to his apostles after his Ascension. Henry gave this relic
Relic
In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial...

 to Westminster Abbey
Westminster Abbey
The Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, popularly known as Westminster Abbey, is a large, mainly Gothic church, in the City of Westminster, London, United Kingdom, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is the traditional place of coronation and burial site for English,...

.Jusserand, Jean Jules (1888) English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages; trans. L. T. Smith. London: T. Fisher Unwin; p. 327-328 This may simply have been a votive copy of the footprint in the Chapel of the Ascension.

Close to Altenburg
Altenburg
Altenburg is a town in the German federal state of Thuringia, 45 km south of Leipzig. It is the capital of the Altenburger Land district.-Geography:...

, near Ehrenberg
Ehrenberg
Ehrenberg may refer to:Germany* Ehrenberg, Hesse, a town in the Fulda district** Ehrenberg in the northwest of Ehrenberg, Hesse* Ehrenberg, Thuringia, a town in the Hildburghausen district...

, there is a large stone which the devil used as a hat, boasting that even Jesus was not strong enough to do this. Jesus appeared and lifted the stone with one finger. The stone bears imprints said to be of both the devil's head and Christ's finger.

Mary, the mother of Jesus


In Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

, the knees and breasts of the Mary
Mary (mother of Jesus)
Mary , commonly referred to as "Saint Mary", "Mother Mary", the "Virgin Mary", the "Blessed Virgin Mary", or "Mary, Mother of God", was a Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee...

 are said to be imprinted on a rock beside her well at Ffynnon Fair, Llanfair
Llanfair
-Places:*Llanfair, Ceredigion; a small village in Mid Wales*Llanfair, Gwynedd, a village in the Ardudwy area of Gwynedd*Llanfair Caereinion, Powys; a small town in east central Wales...

, between Barmouth
Barmouth
Barmouth ; Y Bermo ) is a town in the county of Gwynedd, north-western Wales, lying on the estuary of the River Mawddach and Cardigan Bay.The town is served by Barmouth railway station.- History :...

 and Harlech
Harlech
Harlech is a town and seaside resort in Gwynedd, within the historical boundaries of Merionethshire in northwest Wales. Lying on Tremadog Bay and within the Snowdonia National Park, it has a population of 1,952, of whom 59% speak Welsh...

 in Gwynedd
Gwynedd
Gwynedd is a county in north-west Wales, named after the old Kingdom of Gwynedd. Although the second biggest in terms of geographical area, it is also one of the most sparsely populated...

. Marks said to be her footprint and thumb-print are to be found nearby. Two other Mary footprints are recorded in the vicinity at Llan Maria (St. Mary) near Llanbedr
Llanbedr
Llanbedr is a village in the Ardudwy area of Gwynedd, Wales.The village originally grew around the slate quarrying industry. Attractions in Llanbedr include Neolithic standing stones and Bronze Age hut circles. The Morfa Dyffryn sand dunes and Mochras lie nearby...

, and Wenallt Hill at Llanaber.

At Pochayiv Lavra
Pochayiv Lavra
Holy Dormition Pochayiv Lavra has for centuries been the foremost spiritual and ideological centre of various Orthodox denominations in Western Ukraine. The monastery tops a 60-metre hill in the town of Pochayiv, Ternopil Oblast, 18 km southwest of Kremenets and 50 km north of Ternopil...

 in western Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, there is a footprint which by tradition was left in the stone by the Theotokos
Theotokos
Theotokos is the Greek title of Mary, the mother of Jesus used especially in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, and Eastern Catholic Churches. Its literal English translations include God-bearer and the one who gives birth to God. Less literal translations include Mother of God...

 (Virgin Mary) after her miraculous appearance to two monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

s in the 15th century. A spring of water which is believed to have miraculous powers flows from the footprint to this day.

Muhammad


At the Qubbat al-Sanaya (the Dome of the Front Teeth) the mark made by the Muhammad
Muhammad
Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

's tooth is to be found on a stone in a wall. Muhammad was attacked and lost a tooth during the incident. A mark on a stone wall is said to have been made when the tooth fell. Muhammad's footprints are (by Islamic tradition) found in numerous places, such as the Dome of the Rock
Dome of the Rock
The Dome of the Rock is a shrine located on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem. The structure has been refurbished many times since its initial completion in 691 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik...

 in Jerusalem, in Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

, and in mosques in West Bengal
West Bengal
West Bengal is a state in the eastern region of India and is the nation's fourth-most populous. It is also the seventh-most populous sub-national entity in the world, with over 91 million inhabitants. A major agricultural producer, West Bengal is the sixth-largest contributor to India's GDP...

, Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

 and Gudjarat. It is said that the hoof print of Muhammad's steed al-Burāq
Buraq
Al-Burāq is a mythological steed, described as a creature from the heavens which transported the prophets. The most commonly told story is how in the 7th century, Al-Buraq carried the Islamic prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and back during the Isra and Mi'raj or "Night Journey", which is...

, upon which he was propelled to heaven, can be seen imprinted in the Foundation Stone.

Archangel Gabriel


In Islamic tradition, the Foundation Stone is where Muhammad ascended to heaven, and during this ascension, the rock itself started to rise at the southern end but was held down by the Archangel Gabriel, and some marks on the western side of the rock are said to be the fingerprints of Gabriel.

Footprints


The Romans
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 were accustomed to carve pairs of footprints on a stone with the inscription pro itu et reditu, "for the journey and return". They used them for protective rites on leaving for a journey and for thanksgiving for a safe return, when the traveler would place his feet in the footprints to mark the beginning or end of the undertaking. This same story is told of King Maelgwn of Gwynedd
Gwynedd
Gwynedd is a county in north-west Wales, named after the old Kingdom of Gwynedd. Although the second biggest in terms of geographical area, it is also one of the most sparsely populated...

 in North Wales
North Wales
North Wales is the northernmost unofficial region of Wales. It is bordered to the south by the counties of Ceredigion and Powys in Mid Wales and to the east by the counties of Shropshire in the West Midlands and Cheshire in North West England...

, who placed his feet in carved footprints to ensure his safe return from a pilgrimage to Rome.

In northern Europe, rock footprints were closely associated with Kingship or Chieftainship. Saxo Grammaticus
Saxo Grammaticus
Saxo Grammaticus also known as Saxo cognomine Longus was a Danish historian, thought to have been a secular clerk or secretary to Absalon, Archbishop of Lund, foremost advisor to Valdemar I of Denmark. He is the author of the first full history of Denmark.- Life :The Jutland Chronicle gives...

 notes that "The ancients, when they came to choose a King, stood on stones planted in the ground to proclaim their votes, signifying from the steadfastness of the stones that the deed would be lasting."

Standing on a special stone is a link between the king and the land from which his people earned their food. Links with King Arthur and "The Sword in the Stone" may be relevant in this context of kingship, a right to power over his subjects and links with nature. A similar idea seems to be associated with the Moot hill
Moot hill
A moot hill or mons placiti is a hill or mound historically used as an assembly or meeting place. In early medieval Britain, such hills were used for "moots", meetings of local people to settle local business. Among other things, proclamations might be read; decisions might be taken; court cases...

, or Boot Hill, at Scone
Scone, Scotland
Scone is a village in Perth and Kinross, Scotland. The medieval village of Scone, which grew up around the monastery and royal residence, was abandoned in the early 19th century when the residents were removed and a new palace was built on the site by the Earl of Mansfield...

, for the latter name comes from an ancient tradition whereby emissaries swore fealty to their king by wearing the earth of their own lands in their foot-bindings or boots.

The upper echelons of the clergy of the Celtic Church were drawn from the nobility; indeed, even some kings retired to become monks and eventually even saints, as in the case of King Constantine of Cornwall
Cornwall
Cornwall is a unitary authority and ceremonial county of England, within the United Kingdom. It is bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea, to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the River Tamar. Cornwall has a population of , and covers an area of...

, who retired to Govan
Govan
Govan is a district and former burgh now part of southwest City of Glasgow, Scotland. It is situated west of Glasgow city centre, on the south bank of the River Clyde, opposite the mouth of the River Kelvin and the district of Partick....

 on the Clyde in Scotland. This meant that the association of stone footprints was also made with the saints, bishops and others.

The poet Spenser
Edmund Spenser
Edmund Spenser was an English poet best known for The Faerie Queene, an epic poem and fantastical allegory celebrating the Tudor dynasty and Elizabeth I. He is recognised as one of the premier craftsmen of Modern English verse in its infancy, and one of the greatest poets in the English...

 states that the custom amongst the Irish was to place the man who is to be chief upon a stone, always reserved for that purpose alone and located on a hill. Some of these had a footprint cut into them which was the size and shape of the candidate's. The oath was taken with the foot in the footprint, the individual swearing that as chief he would preserve all the ancient customs and respect the laws of royal inheritance.

A Locus terribilis is a sacred place into which only a divine or sacred person could enter. Petrosomatoglyph footprints for the ordination of kings would be an example, for it was believed that only the rightful king was able to use them for the purpose that they were intended. Footprints may also have to do with the cult of the ancestors, whose spirits dwell in the stone, so that a newly invested King would have received the luck or mana of his predecessors through contact with it.

Footprints have been found in Sweden, Denmark, Italy, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

 (Adam's Foot), and Uganda
Uganda
Uganda , officially the Republic of Uganda, is a landlocked country in East Africa. Uganda is also known as the "Pearl of Africa". It is bordered on the east by Kenya, on the north by South Sudan, on the west by the Democratic Republic of the Congo, on the southwest by Rwanda, and on the south by...

.

Footprints in Scotland



In Ayr, on the southern bank of the River Ayr is 'Wallace's Heel', a natural sandstone slab from which flows a small spring. Sir William Wallace is said to have left the imprint behind whilst rushing to escape English soldiers who were pursuing him. Among cup and ring mark
Cup and ring mark
Cup and ring marks or cup marks are a form of prehistoric art found mainly in Atlantic Europe and Mediterranean Europe although similar forms are also found throughout the world including Mexico, Brazil, Greece, and India, where...

s on a boulder at Carnasserie, two miles (3 km) from Kilmartin
Kilmartin
Kilmartin is a small village in Argyll and Bute, western Scotland. It is best known as the centre of Kilmartin Glen, an area with one of the richest concentrations of prehistoric monuments and historical sites in Scotland. It contains over 350 monuments within a 6 mile radius.-Kilmartin Parish...

 in Argyll, are carved a pair of feet. At St. Mary's Church in Burwick, South Ronaldsay
South Ronaldsay
South Ronaldsay is one of the Orkney Islands off the north coast of Scotland. It is linked to the Orkney Mainland by the Churchill Barriers, running via Burray, Glimps Holm and Lamb Holm.-Geography and geology:...

, Orkney, is the Ladykirk Stone on which St. Magnus
Magnus Erlendsson, Earl of Orkney
Saint Magnus, Earl Magnus Erlendsson of Orkney, sometimes known as Magnus the Martyr, was the first Earl of Orkney to bear that name, and ruled from 1108 to about 1115...

 is said to have sailed over the Pentland Firth
Pentland Firth
The Pentland Firth , which is actually more of a strait than a firth, separates the Orkney Islands from Caithness in the north of Scotland.-Etymology:...

. It has two clear footprints cut into it. A pair of footprints is carved in a stone slab in a causeway at the Broch of Clickhimin (or Clickemin), Lerwick
Lerwick
Lerwick is the capital and main port of the Shetland Islands, Scotland, located more than 100 miles off the north coast of mainland Scotland on the east coast of the Shetland Mainland...

, in Shetland. This site was occupied from about 1000 BC to AD 500. Two footprints are to be found at Dunadd
Dunadd
Dunadd, , is an Iron Age and later hillfort near Kilmartin in Argyll and Bute, Scotland and believed to be the capital of the ancient kingdom of Dál Riata.-Description:...

 (Dun Monaidh), ancient capital of the Gaelic kingdom of Dál Riata
Dál Riata
Dál Riata was a Gaelic overkingdom on the western coast of Scotland with some territory on the northeast coast of Ireland...

. The completed one faces north and is accompanied by an image of a boar, rock-basins possibly cut for ceremonial ablutions and an ogham
Ogham
Ogham is an Early Medieval alphabet used primarily to write the Old Irish language, and occasionally the Brythonic language. Ogham is sometimes called the "Celtic Tree Alphabet", based on a High Medieval Bríatharogam tradition ascribing names of trees to the individual letters.There are roughly...

 inscription. This footprint is said to be that of Oisin
Oisin
Oisin , is a common boy's name.-Origin:The name Oisin probably originated in the myth of Tír na nÓg.Oisin was the son of Fionn mac Cumhaill and was brand to the land of youth by beautiful Niamh.-McPherson and Ossian:...

 or Fergus Mor Mac Erca, the first King of Dalriada, who died in AD 501. St. Columba is said to have installed Aidan as King on this rock. The best preserved footprint is 27 cm long, nearly 11 cm wide, 9 cm across at the heel and 2.5 cm deep; so large that it would fit a foot clothed in a shoe or boot. A second, incomplete footprint is a lightly pecked outline of a shod right foot, 24 cm long and 10 cm in maximum width. It has a pronounced taper to the heel; further internal peck-marks suggest that it was to have been hollowed out. It is on the same alignment as the other footprint.

A crag near the chapel of Keil and St. Columba's Well, between Dunaverty Bay and Carskey in Kintyre
Kintyre
Kintyre is a peninsula in western Scotland, in the southwest of Argyll and Bute. The region stretches approximately 30 miles , from the Mull of Kintyre in the south, to East Loch Tarbert in the north...

, has two footprints carved at a place where St. Columba is reputed to have first set foot in Dalriada, Scotland. One is recent, and the other genuinely old. Kingship rituals may have been connected with this petrosomatoglyph. St. Columba's footprints are to be found at Southend
Southend, Kintyre
Southend is the main settlement at the southern end of the Kintyre peninsula in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It lies south of Campbeltown, the main town in the area. The civil parish of Southend comprises the village and the surrounding land, used mainly for farming and forestry...

 in Argyll. Two examples exist in Angus. The caves below Keil Point on the Isle of Arran
Isle of Arran
Arran or the Isle of Arran is the largest island in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland, and with an area of is the seventh largest Scottish island. It is in the unitary council area of North Ayrshire and the 2001 census had a resident population of 5,058...

 contain a slab which may have been an ancient altar. It has the prints of two right feet on it, said to be of Saint Columba. The Giant Fingal of Arran is said to have had a son born in the King's Cave who left a 2 foot (0.6096 m) footprint on the cave side. On Islay
Islay
-Prehistory:The earliest settlers on Islay were nomadic hunter-gatherers who arrived during the Mesolithic period after the retreat of the Pleistocene ice caps. In 1993 a flint arrowhead was found in a field near Bridgend dating from 10,800 BC, the earliest evidence of a human presence found so far...

, there was a Stone of Inauguration by Finlaggan
Finlaggan
Finlaggan is a historic site on Eilean Mòr in Loch Finlaggan. Loch, island, and castle lie around two km to the northwest of Ballygrant on Islay.Finlaggan was the seat of the Lords of the Isles and of Clan Donald...

. It was seven feet square and had footprints cut into it. When a chief of the Clan Donald was installed as the King of the Isles, he stood barefoot on the imprints on the stone, and with his father's stone in his hand, was anointed King by the Bishop of Argyll and seven priests. During the ceremony, an orator recited a list of his ancestors and, he was proclaimed "Macdonald, high prince of the seed of Conn". The block was deliberately destroyed in the early seventeenth century. At Spittal, near Drymen
Drymen
Drymen is a village in Stirling district in central Scotland. Drymen lies to the west of the Campsie Fells and enjoys views to Dumgoyne on the east and to Loch Lomond on the west...

, is a footprint which may be due to natural weathering. It is located at the western end of a long ridge of natural rock outcrop. A quarry for two millstones is nearby. At Craigmaddie Muir, Baldernock
Baldernock
Baldernock is a small parish in East Dunbartonshire , Scotland, ten miles to the north of Glasgow's city centre.-Geography:...

, East Dunbartonshire is the Auld Wives Lifts. This is a complicated assemblage of carvings on a rock platform. On the rock are serpent-like forms, crosses, cups and an impression of the right foot of an adult. At Dunino Den (56.28° N 02.76° W NO5311), near St Andrews
St Andrews
St Andrews is a university town and former royal burgh on the east coast of Fife in Scotland. The town is named after Saint Andrew the Apostle.St Andrews has a population of 16,680, making this the fifth largest settlement in Fife....

 in Fife
Fife
Fife is a council area and former county of Scotland. It is situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth, with inland boundaries to Perth and Kinross and Clackmannanshire...

, is a footprint and a basin carved in the surface of a sandstone outcrop. A Celtic cross
Celtic cross
A Celtic cross is a symbol that combines a cross with a ring surrounding the intersection. In the Celtic Christian world it was combined with the Christian cross and this design was often used for high crosses – a free-standing cross made of stone and often richly decorated...

 has been carved nearby, possibly as an attempt to Christianise the site.

Footprints in Ireland


Close to St. Olann's Well at Coolineagh, near Coachford
Coachford
Coachford is a village west of Cork City, in County Cork, Ireland. It is located on the north side of the River Lee. Coachford got its name from Áth an Chóiste as there used to be a narrow ford across a stream...

, County Cork
County Cork
County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is located in the South-West Region and is also part of the province of Munster. It is named after the city of Cork . Cork County Council is the local authority for the county...

, are the footprints of St. Olann on a boulder. In the garden of Belmont, on the Greencastle Road, about a mile from Derry, there was, in 1837, a block called St. Columba's Stone with two footprints on it. It may have been the inauguration stone of the Kings of Aileach, brought here by the local Chief of Derry. On the Clare Hills in Ireland, on the Gort to Feakle road in the townland of Drumandoora, is the engraved outline or impression of a foot clothed by a sandal. On the Hill of Lech, or, previously, Mullach Leaght, the "Hill of the Stone", three miles (5 km) southwest of Monaghan
Monaghan
Monaghan is the county town of County Monaghan in Ireland. Its population at the 2006 census stood at 7,811 . The town is located on the main road, the N2 road, from Dublin north to both Derry and Letterkenny.-Toponym:...

 in Ireland, was the inauguration stone of the Mac Mahons. It was used in 1595 and destroyed by a farm owner in 1809.
At Clonmacnoise
Clonmacnoise
The monastery of Clonmacnoise is situated in County Offaly, Ireland on the River Shannon south of Athlone....

, County Offaly
County Offaly
County Offaly is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the ancient Kingdom of Uí Failghe and was formerly known as King's County until the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. Offaly County Council is...

, Ireland, close to the Chapel of Clonfinlough. there are several limestone boulders, one of which is called the Fairy's or Horseman's Stone. It has many cup-shaped hollows, croses, daggers, and a pair of human feet. At Templemore
Templemore
Templemore is a town in North Tipperary, Ireland. It is a civil parish in the historical barony of Eliogarty. It is part of the Roman Catholic parish of Templemore, Clonmore and Killea....

 in County Londonderry
County Londonderry
The place name Derry is an anglicisation of the old Irish Daire meaning oak-grove or oak-wood. As with the city, its name is subject to the Derry/Londonderry name dispute, with the form Derry preferred by nationalists and Londonderry preferred by unionists...

 is a slab named St. Columbkille's Stone. It has the imprint of two feet, each ten inches (254 mm) in length. Traditionally, it was the inauguration stone of the ancient Irish chieftains. Saint Columba's Stone near Derry has two depressions like the marks of feet. The O'Doherty's are said to have stood on this stone with bare feet at their inaugurations. At Slievenamon (The Mountain of the Women), at South Tipperary in Ireland, is the rock that bears the footprints of Goll—"the One-Eyed"—who made a giant leap across the valley to catch up with the hunt of the Fianna.
The West Pier in Howth
Howth
Howth is an area in Fingal County near Dublin city in Ireland. Originally just a small fishing village, Howth with its surrounding rural district is now a busy suburb of Dublin, with a mix of dense residential development and wild hillside, all on the peninsula of Howth Head. The only...

 Harbour, Dublin, displays a specimen of footprints from King George IV
George IV of the United Kingdom
George IV was the King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and also of Hanover from the death of his father, George III, on 29 January 1820 until his own death ten years later...

's visit in 1821.

Footprints in England and Wales


"King Arthur's Footprint" is a hollow in the rock at the highest point of Tintagel Island
Tintagel Castle
Tintagel Castle is a medieval fortification located on the peninsula of Tintagel Island, adjacent to the village of Tintagel in Cornwall, United Kingdom. The site was possibly occupied in the Romano-British period, due to an array of artefacts dating to this period which have been found on the...

's southern side. It is not entirely natural, having been shaped by human hands at some stage. It may have been used for the inauguration of kings or chieftains as the site is known to have a long history stretching back to the Dark Ages.


At Poole Farm in Somerset
Somerset
The ceremonial and non-metropolitan county of Somerset in South West England borders Bristol and Gloucestershire to the north, Wiltshire to the east, Dorset to the south-east, and Devon to the south-west. It is partly bounded to the north and west by the Bristol Channel and the estuary of the...

, a cist cover was found with footprints and cupmarks. The decorated cist slab is displayed in Bristol Museum. Originally it was in position on the south side of the Pool Farm Cist, which was contained within a round barrow. Excavation revealed the cremated remains of a child and an adult. However, these carvings do have similarities with the Calderstones in Liverpool and others in Scandinavia. The footprinted Calderstones in Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 may have come from a Lancashire passage-grave. Sharkey sees a link of artistic influence between these and those at Petit-Mont in Brittany.

On a rock formerly visible at the eastern end of Holyhead
Holyhead
Holyhead is the largest town in the county of Anglesey in the North Wales. It is also a major port adjacent to the Irish Sea serving Ireland....

 church in Anglesey
Anglesey
Anglesey , also known by its Welsh name Ynys Môn , is an island and, as Isle of Anglesey, a county off the north west coast of Wales...

, Wales, was the footprint of St. Cybi.

Footprints in the Isle of Man


The Swearing Stone found at Castleward earthwork was probably used in inauguration ceremonies.

Footprints in Brittany


A passage-grave at Petit-Mont Arzon
Arzon
Arzon is a commune located at the extremity of the Rhuys peninsula in the Morbihan department in the Brittany region in north-western France.-Geography:...

 in Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

 contains a stone with a pair of feet, toes pointing upwards. Sharkey sees these carvings as coming from the same artistic tradition as those on the Calderstones. At Dol de Bretagne in Brittany are found the footprints of St. Michael on Mont Dol as well as a claw mark of the devil. At Petit-Mont passage grave near Arzon in Brittany can be found the relief of two upturned feet.

Footprints in Germany


On the Totenberg near Minden
Minden
Minden is a town of about 83,000 inhabitants in the north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The town extends along both sides of the river Weser. It is the capital of the Kreis of Minden-Lübbecke, which is part of the region of Detmold. Minden is the historic political centre of the...

 in the Geismarwald, a commander in the Thirty Years War declared before a battle that he had as much chance of winning as he had of the stone becoming soft. It did and his foot and hand-prints are still there to be seen by all.

At Rosenstein Castle on the Heuberg in the Remo Valley is a rock with the form of a beautiful human foot, and on the mountain opposite, the Scheulberg, is a similar imprint. The ruins of Rosenstein Castle, known today for its caves, sit above Heubach, while the Scheulberg is near Beuran to the Southeast; they are approximately 3 km apart.

In the Klatauer Kreis, close to Oberkamenz village on Hradekberg Mountain, stood a castle in which an arrogant daughter lived. She wore bread rolls as shoes and sank into the rock, as did the castle; one footprint can still be seen.

A knight's heel print can allegedly be seen in the sandstone on the terrace of the Castle.

Footprints in Italy



The petroglyph
Petroglyph
Petroglyphs are pictogram and logogram images created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, and abrading. Outside North America, scholars often use terms such as "carving", "engraving", or other descriptions of the technique to refer to such images...

s of footprints are very common in the Val Camonica rock art
Rock Drawings in Valcamonica
The stone carvings of Val Camonica constitute one of the largest collections of prehistoric petroglyphs in the world. The collection was recognized by Unesco in 1979 and was Italy's first recognized World Heritage Site...

 (over 200 in the single Rock 6 in Foppe di Nadro area).

In 2003, a series of footprints, now known as the Ciampate del Diavolo
Ciampate del Diavolo
Ciampate del Diavolo is the name of a locality near Roccamonfina , in the neighbourhood of an extinct volcano with the same name. It takes its name from several human fossil footprints....

, were discovered on the slopes of Roccamonfina, a dormant volcano about 35 miles (56.3 km) from Naples. The tracks were left more than 325,000 years ago, during an eruption. They were preserved in the ash. Locals called the prints "devil's trails".

Footprints in Africa


The Laetoli
Laetoli
Laetoli is a site in Tanzania, dated to the Plio-Pleistocene and famous for its hominin footprints, preserved in volcanic ash . The site of the Laetoli footprints is located 45 km south of Olduvai gorge.-Date:...

 footprints are hominid tracks left behind in then-soft volcanic ash nearly 3.7 million years ago. The prints were discovered by Mary Leakey
Mary Leakey
Mary Leakey was a British archaeologist and anthropologist, who discovered the first skull of a fossil ape on Rusinga Island and also a noted robust Australopithecine called Zinjanthropus at Olduvai. For much of her career she worked together with her husband, Louis Leakey, in Olduvai Gorge,...

 and others in 1978.

Footprints in other parts of the world


A set of Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

's footprints, according to legend, are preserved at the Church of Domine Quo Vadis
Church of Domine Quo Vadis
The Church of St Mary in Palmis , better known as Chiesa del Domine Quo Vadis, is a small church southeast of Rome, central Italy. It is located about some 800 m from Porta San Sebastiano, where the Via Ardeatina branches off the Appian Way, on the site where, according to the legend, Saint...

 outside of Rome. In Buddhist symbolism
Buddhist symbolism
Buddhist symbolism is the use of Buddhist art to represent certain aspects of dhamma, which began in the 4th century BCE. Anthropomorphic symbolism appeared from around the 1st century CE with the arts of Mathura and the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, and were combined with the previous symbols...

, a Buddhapada (footprint
Buddha footprint
The footprint of the Buddha is an imprint of Gautama Buddha's one or both feet. There are two forms: natural, as found in stone or rock, and those made artificially...

 of the Buddha
Gautama Buddha
Siddhārtha Gautama was a spiritual teacher from the Indian subcontinent, on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. In most Buddhist traditions, he is regarded as the Supreme Buddha Siddhārtha Gautama (Sanskrit: सिद्धार्थ गौतम; Pali: Siddhattha Gotama) was a spiritual teacher from the Indian...

) with Dharmacakra
Dharmacakra
The Dharmachakra , lit. "Wheel of Dharma" or "Wheel of Life" is a symbol that has represented dharma, the Buddha's teaching of the path to enlightenment, since the early period of Indian Buddhism. A similar symbol is also in use in Jainism...

 and Triratna symbols from the 1st century is to be found at Gandhāra
Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

, Northern Pakistan.
On Sri Pada, or Adam's Peak, a mountain in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, is a footprint mark said by Buddhists to be that of the left foot of the Buddha, the right footprint being in a city about 150 kilometres distant, or at Phra Sat in Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

. Tamil
Tamil people
Tamil people , also called Tamils or Tamilians, are an ethnic group native to Tamil Nadu, India and the north-eastern region of Sri Lanka. Historic and post 15th century emigrant communities are also found across the world, notably Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, South Africa, Australia, Canada,...

 Hindus consider it to be the footprint of Shiva
Shiva
Shiva is a major Hindu deity, and is the destroyer god or transformer among the Trimurti, the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. God Shiva is a yogi who has notice of everything that happens in the world and is the main aspect of life. Yet one with great power lives a life of a...

. Some Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

s and Christians ascribe it to Adam, where Adam the "first ancestor" is said to have set foot as he was exiled from the Garden of Eden
Garden of Eden
The Garden of Eden is in the Bible's Book of Genesis as being the place where the first man, Adam, and his wife, Eve, lived after they were created by God. Literally, the Bible speaks about a garden in Eden...

. Sometimes Christians ascribe it to Saint Thomas
Thomas the Apostle
Thomas the Apostle, also called Doubting Thomas or Didymus was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He is best known for questioning Jesus' resurrection when first told of it, then proclaiming "My Lord and my God" on seeing Jesus in . He was perhaps the only Apostle who went outside the Roman...

, the "Apostle of India". Footprints of the Buddha also exist in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

, Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, Korea
Korea
Korea ) is an East Asian geographic region that is currently divided into two separate sovereign states — North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the...

, Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

, Malaysia, the Maldives
Maldives
The Maldives , , officially Republic of Maldives , also referred to as the Maldive Islands, is an island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of twenty-six atolls oriented north-south off India's Lakshadweep islands, between Minicoy Island and...

, Pakistan, Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, and Burma. The St. Victor's Petroglyphs in Provincial Park
Provincial park
A provincial park is a park under the management of a provincial or territorial government in Canada.While provincial parks are not the same as national parks, their workings are very similar...

, Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan
Saskatchewan is a prairie province in Canada, which has an area of . Saskatchewan is bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota....

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, feature human footprints.

Knee prints


A tradition of body-part impressions at holy wells, rivers and beneath waterfalls comes from the fact that Celtic monks or culdee
Culdee
Céli Dé or Culdees were originally members of ascetic Christian monastic and eremitical communities of Ireland, Scotland and England in the Middle Ages. The term is used of St. John the Apostle, of a missioner from abroad recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters at the year 806, and of Óengus...

s often prayed in such places, continuing the veneration of the Druid
Druid
A druid was a member of the priestly class in Britain, Ireland, and Gaul, and possibly other parts of Celtic western Europe, during the Iron Age....

s for sacred water. Folk belief ascribes healing powers to waters taken from these holy impressions, and this water was used to cure sickness, wounds and sores, as well as preventing or curing sickness in animals such as cattle.


At Llangynnlo in Wales are Olgliniau Cynllo, the knee prints of King Cynllo at prayer. At Troedraur in Dyfed
Dyfed
Dyfed is a preserved county of Wales. It was created on 1 April 1974 under the terms of the Local Government Act 1972, and covered approximately the same geographic extent as the ancient Principality of Deheubarth, although excluding the Gower Peninsula and the area west of the River Tawe...

, South Wales are the knee-marks of St. Gwyndaf Hen impressed on a flat rock in the bed of the River Ceri. These are 'pot holes' or Rock-cut basin
Rock-cut basin
A rock-cut basin, in this usage of the term, is a natural phenomenon. They are cylindrical depressions cut into stream or river beds, often filled with water. Such plucked-bedrock pits are created by kolks; powerful vortices within the water currents which spin small boulders around, eroding out...

s made by the grinding effect of stone in the river currents to the sceptics. St Cynwyl in the river at Caio
Caio
Caeo or Caio is a village in the county of Carmarthenshire, south-west Wales, sited near to the Dolaucothi Gold Mines.-Location:It is located between Llandovery and Lampeter, 1 mile north-east of the A482 that connects these two towns. Caeo lies at the confluence of the Afon Annell and the Nant Frena...

 in Wales. St. Beuno at Llanaelhaiarn in Wales. At Arthur's Stone chambered tomb in Hereford & Worcester is a cup-mark stone which bears the imprints of King Arthur
King Arthur
King Arthur is a legendary British leader of the late 5th and early 6th centuries, who, according to Medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the early 6th century. The details of Arthur's story are mainly composed of folklore and literary invention, and...

's knees left behind after he prayed to God in thanks for victory over a giant (or king) whom he had killed and whose tomb this is. At Llanllyfni in Wales are the knee prints of St. Gredfyw.

John O'Donovan, in his Ordnance Survey Letters of 1840, tells the story of Saint Moling
Saint Moling
Mo Ling was the second Bishop of Ferns in Ireland. The town of Monamolin in County Wexford is named after him, as is the parish church in Ballycanew....

 crossing a small hill in the County Wexford
County Wexford
County Wexford is a county in Ireland. It is part of the South-East Region and is also located in the province of Leinster. It is named after the town of Wexford. In pre-Norman times it was part of the Kingdom of Uí Cheinnselaig, whose capital was at Ferns. Wexford County Council is the local...

 district, when an evil spirit annoyed him. He knelt on a rock to curse the spirit, leaving the impression of his knees on the stone. While there is no account of the stone today, it is said that the incident gave the name to the townland Cloch na Mallacht, i.e. "the stones of the curses", linking the episode to Bullaun
Bullaun
A bullaun is the term used for the depression in a stone which is often water filled. Natural rounded boulders or pebbles may sit in the bullaun...

 stones which often contain cursing stones.

Hands and arms


A diminutive pair of hands are carved on a boulder beside the Crinan Canal in Argyll. The St. Victor's Petroglyphs Provincial Park, in Saskatchewan, Canada, feature hand-prints. From Waldenbuch in Germany is a four-sided stone pillar with scroll carving and a left arm and hand. At Oberhasli
Oberhasli
Oberhasli may refer to:* Oberhasli, a historical region in the Bernese Oberland in the canton of Berne, Switzerland* Oberhasli District, a former district* Oberhasli , a breed of goat named after the Bernese district...

 on the road to Gadmen
Gadmen
Gadmen is a municipality in the Interlaken-Oberhasli administrative district in the canton of Bern in Switzerland.The name Gadmen comes from the Old High German "gadum," meaning barn or small house, and was first mentioned in 1382....

 near Meiringen
Meiringen
-References:...

 in Germany is the Sterbensstein, a rock with the impression of a hand and several fingers left by a dying man after he had been attacked. Near Minden
Minden
Minden is a town of about 83,000 inhabitants in the north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The town extends along both sides of the river Weser. It is the capital of the Kreis of Minden-Lübbecke, which is part of the region of Detmold. Minden is the historic political centre of the...

 in the Geismarwald on the Totenberg in Germany, an army leader who before a battle in the 30 years wars declared that he had as much chance of winning as he had of the stone becoming soft. It did, and his foot- and hand-prints are still there to be seen by all.

A carved left hand is to be found on the wall of the Decorated Hall in the Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni on Malta
Malta
Malta , officially known as the Republic of Malta , is a Southern European country consisting of an archipelago situated in the centre of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya, with Gibraltar to the west and Alexandria to the east.Malta covers just over in...

. It measures 8¼" by 4". At Arthur's Stone chambered tomb in Hereford and Worcester is a "cup mark" stone which bears the imprints of a king's or giant's elbow, left behind after he fell dead to the ground, killed by King Arthur. The Petroglyph National Monument has an estimated 20,000 carved images, including many of hands. These images are inseparable from the cultural landscape, the spirits of the people who created and who appreciate them. At Barnakill near Dunardy in Argyll is a stone bearing two hand prints. The hands appear to have a covering; one may be the back of the hand having interesting designs, the other being the palm with some faint markings.

At Llanllyfni in Wales is the thumb print of St. Gredfyw. Near Strathpeffer
Strathpeffer
Strathpeffer is a village and former spa town in Ross and Cromarty, Highland, Scotland, with a population of 1,469.-Geography:It lies in a glen 5 miles west of Dingwall, with varying elevation from 200 to 400 feet above sea level...

 in Scotland is the finger and thumb print of a dwarf associate of Finn Mac Cuill on an old gate post near to the Pictish Eagle Stone.

In Argyll and Bute, Kilneuair's kirk has inside, to the east of the nave door, a sandstone block bearing a now almost invisible five-toed print with nails on three of the toes and which is referred to as 'the Devil's hand'.

Eyes


At St. Mary's Church in Newchurch-in-Pendle, an eye is carved on the tower, said to be the all-seeing eye of God. Local tradition says that it was originally placed there to protect the worshippers from the witches who once plagued the district. In Almería
Almería
Almería is a city in Andalusia, Spain, on the Mediterranean Sea. It is the capital of the province of the same name.-Toponym:Tradition says that the name Almería stems from the Arabic المرية Al-Mariyya: "The Mirror", comparing it to "The Mirror of the Sea"...

, Spain, is a carved limestone pillar with eyes or the oculos / oculi motif. The eyes have eyebrows and/or accentuating arcs. An "eye goddess" may have existed as shown by many other examples of carved oculi. The Folkton "drums" are made of chalk and are elaborately carved, with distinct oculi or eyes. Petrosphere
Petrosphere
In archaeology, a petrosphere is the name for any spherical man-made object of any size that is composed of stone. These mainly prehistoric artefacts may have been created and/or selected, but altered in some way to perform their specific function, including carving and painting.Several classes of...

s or carved stone balls from Scotland, especially the Aberdeen area, often have concentric carved lines, some of which appear to be stylised oculi. Pecked carvings of "eyebrows" are found on a lintel inside Holm of Papa Westray
Papa Westray
Papa Westray, also known as Papay, is one of the Orkney Islands in Scotland, with a population of 65 at the time of the 2001 Census, now increased to 70 people...

 south chambered cairn, Orkney. They are similar to the 'owlish' eyes and eyebrows carved on the Folkton Drums. The Food-vessel peoples at the Tregulland barrow near Bodmin moor
Bodmin Moor
Bodmin Moor is a granite moorland in northeastern Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. It is in size, and originally dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history....

 in Cornwall had placed slate slabs around the central burial bearing circular pecked hollows resembling oculi, presumably having a protective function for the person buried within.

Heads


The Celts are well known for their cult of the "severed head" of which many examples exist as three-dimensional carvings or sculptures. Petrosomatoglyphs are much rarer. Pump Sant Stone near Carmarthen in Wales has the imprint in it of the heads of the five saints, named Ceitho, Celynnin, Gwyn, Gwyno and Gwynoro. The stone is made of Diorite
Diorite
Diorite is a grey to dark grey intermediate intrusive igneous rock composed principally of plagioclase feldspar , biotite, hornblende, and/or pyroxene. It may contain small amounts of quartz, microcline and olivine. Zircon, apatite, sphene, magnetite, ilmenite and sulfides occur as accessory...

, a very hard stone brought from another district. It stands on a mound facing the Ogofau Lodge of Dolaucothi House, near to the Roman Gold
Gold
Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au and an atomic number of 79. Gold is a dense, soft, shiny, malleable and ductile metal. Pure gold has a bright yellow color and luster traditionally considered attractive, which it maintains without oxidizing in air or water. Chemically, gold is a...

 Mines. It has depressions on all four faces characteristic of the wear produced from crushing quartz. The Serpent Stone from a Roman cemetery in Maryport in Cumbria
Cumbria
Cumbria , is a non-metropolitan county in North West England. The county and Cumbria County Council, its local authority, came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. Cumbria's largest settlement and county town is Carlisle. It consists of six districts, and in...

 has a Celtic severed head wearing a torc carved on the top of a phallic-shaped pillar. On the back is a carving of a serpent. At Tarren Deusant, Llantrisant
Llantrisant
Llantrisant is a town in the county borough of Rhondda Cynon Taf in Wales, within the historic county boundaries of Glamorgan, Wales, lying on the River Ely and the Afon Clun. The town's name translates as The Parish of the Three Saints. The three saints in question are St Illtyd, St Gwynno and St...

 in Mid-Glamorgan is a pagan site with two heads originally carved, showing incised eyebrows and slit mouths characteristic of some Celtic cult heads. Six other heads have been carved since 1696, when they were first recorded. The Husjatyn god-pillar from the River Zbrucz in Galicia, Poland, has several heads carved on its four sides, together with images of horses, people and weapons. A pointed stone from Rottenburg am Neckar
Rottenburg am Neckar
Rottenburg am Neckar is a medium-sized town in the administrative district of Tübingen in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It rests about 50 km southwest of the provincial capital Stuttgart and about 12 km southwest of the district town Tübingen...

, at Stammheim in Stuttgart
Stuttgart
Stuttgart is the capital of the state of Baden-Württemberg in southern Germany. The sixth-largest city in Germany, Stuttgart has a population of 600,038 while the metropolitan area has a population of 5.3 million ....

, has a rudimentary human face carved on it. From Entremont
Entremont
Entremont may refer to:*Entremont, Haute-Savoie, a municipality of the Haute-Savoie département in France*Entremont , a district of the canton of Valais in Switzerland and was a canton of the former Simplon département of the French Empire...

, Bouches-du-Rhône
Bouches-du-Rhône
Bouches-du-Rhône is a department in the south of France named after the mouth of the Rhône River. It is the most populous department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. Its INSEE and postal code is 13.-History of the department:...

 in France is a four-sided stone pillar with numerous engraved stone heads. The pillar came from the Celtic sanctuary which was destroyed by the Romans in 124 BC. At Alderly Edge, Cheshire
Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

, England, is the face of Merlin
Merlin
Merlin is a legendary figure best known as the wizard featured in the Arthurian legend. The standard depiction of the character first appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written c. 1136, and is based on an amalgamation of previous historical and legendary figures...

 carved into the native rock face of a crag. Two carved stone heads are located at Chapelhall House, Innellan
Innellan
Innellan is a village that lies on the east shore of the Cowal peninsula, on the Firth of Clyde, 4 miles south of the town of Dunoon in Scotland, United Kingdom.- History :The origin of the name "Innellan" is obscure...

, Argyll. One resembles a Celtic stone head and may indeed be one, the other is more likely to have been a corbel in the early medieval chapel that lay nearby. St. Aid, or Áed mac Bricc
Áed mac Bricc
Áed mac Bricc was an Irish bishop and saint. Áed's principal church was at Rahugh in modern County Westmeath. He was regarded as a patron saint of the Uí Néill and was said to be a descendant of Fiachu mac Néill...

, was Bishop of Killare in the 6th century. At Saint Aid's birth, his head had hit a stone, leaving a hole that collected rainwater that cured all ailments, thus linking it with the Irish tradition of Bullaun
Bullaun
A bullaun is the term used for the depression in a stone which is often water filled. Natural rounded boulders or pebbles may sit in the bullaun...

 stones. On the Victorian viaduct in the Pass of Killiecrankie
Killiecrankie
Killiecrankie is a village in Perth and Kinross, Scotland on the River Garry. It lies at the Pass of Killiecrankie, by the A9 road. The village is home to a power station forming part of the Tummel Hydro-Electric Power Scheme...

 is a well-defined face carved into one ashlar block.

The female form and reproductive structures


It has been stated that many of the signs or symbols which accompany maze or geometric patterns from sites such as Newgrange
Newgrange
Newgrange is a prehistoric monument located in County Meath, on the eastern side of Ireland, about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built around 3200 BC , during the Neolithic period...

 in Ireland are identifiable or interpretable as human, the womb (lens symbol), the pubic area (lozenge symbol), fallopian horns (ram's horns), the female form (hour-glass symbol), breasts (w or omega symbol), etc. The vesica piscis
Vesica piscis
The vesica piscis is a shape that is the intersection of two circles with the same radius, intersecting in such a way that the center of each circle lies on the circumference of the other. The name literally means the "bladder of a fish" in Latin...

 shape as found on the lid of the Chalice Well
Chalice Well
Chalice Well is a holy well situated at the foot of Glastonbury Tor in the county of Somerset, England. The natural spring and surrounding gardens are owned and managed by the Chalice Well Trust , founded by Wellesley Tudor Pole in 1959.Archaeological evidence suggests that the well has been in...

 at Glastonbury
Glastonbury
Glastonbury is a small town in Somerset, England, situated at a dry point on the low lying Somerset Levels, south of Bristol. The town, which is in the Mendip district, had a population of 8,784 in the 2001 census...

 includes an almond- or lozenge-shaped central area that is seen as a possible representation of the female genitals. Meehan does not, however, clearly indicate his sources for these interpretations. Some evidence to support such interpretations comes from early Cromagnon art and other prehistoric art finds which show a fairly consistent use of certain symbols or methods of portrayal of body parts. The significance of certain shapes, such as chevrons, lozenges, mascles and fusils is apparent in their frequent use in heraldry
Heraldry
Heraldry is the profession, study, or art of creating, granting, and blazoning arms and ruling on questions of rank or protocol, as exercised by an officer of arms. Heraldry comes from Anglo-Norman herald, from the Germanic compound harja-waldaz, "army commander"...

, their use on flag
Flag
A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...

s and the important part that some of these shapes played as Norman
Norman architecture
About|Romanesque architecture, primarily English|other buildings in Normandy|Architecture of Normandy.File:Durham Cathedral. Nave by James Valentine c.1890.jpg|thumb|200px|The nave of Durham Cathedral demonstrates the characteristic round arched style, though use of shallow pointed arches above the...

 architectural motifs. Dunfermline
Dunfermline
Dunfermline is a town and former Royal Burgh in Fife, Scotland, on high ground from the northern shore of the Firth of Forth. According to a 2008 estimate, Dunfermline has a population of 46,430, making it the second-biggest settlement in Fife. Part of the town's name comes from the Gaelic word...

 and Durham
Durham
Durham is a city in north east England. It is within the County Durham local government district, and is the county town of the larger ceremonial county...

 cathedrals both have drum-piers with zig-zag carved ornamentation.

Barclodiad y Gawres
Barclodiad y Gawres
Barclodiad y Gawres is a Neolithic burial chamber on the coast of the island of Anglesey in North Wales. It is an example of a cruciform passage grave, a notable feature being its decorated stones...

 is a passage-grave on Anglesey
Anglesey
Anglesey , also known by its Welsh name Ynys Môn , is an island and, as Isle of Anglesey, a county off the north west coast of Wales...

 with its internal surfaces decorated with lozenges, chevrons, wavy lines and spirals. The whole tomb has been likened to a womb, that of the Mother Goddess
Mother goddess
Mother goddess is a term used to refer to a goddess who represents motherhood, fertility, creation or embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother.Many different goddesses have...

. These symbols are also commonly used in passage graves found in Ireland and Brittany
Brittany
Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

. Triangular stones are sometimes regarded as being representations of the female sexual organs or overall body shape. At Boscawen un stone circle in Cornwall, a leaning central standing stone and a large white quartz
Quartz
Quartz is the second-most-abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust, after feldspar. It is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2. There are many different varieties of quartz,...

 boulder may represent the male and female elements of nature. At Carn Euny
Carn Euny
Carn Euny is an archaeological site near Sancreed, on the Penwith peninsula in Cornwall, United Kingdom with considerable evidence of both Iron Age and post-Iron Age settlement. Excavations on this site have shown that there was activity at Carn Euny as early as the Neolithic period...

 Iron Age village in Cornwall is a fogou
Fogou
A fogou or fougou is an underground, dry-stone structure found on Iron Age or Romano-British defended settlement sites in Cornwall. Fogous have similarities with souterrains or earth-houses of northern Europe and particularly Scotland including the Orkney Islands...

 which may represent the womb of the Great Earth Mother.

At Avebury and West Kennet Avenue in Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

, the tall pillar and "broad diamond shape" stones were used alternately in the stone circles, possibly symbolising males and females at this famous pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 ritual site. Stoney Littleton Long Barrow
Stoney Littleton Long Barrow
The Stoney Littleton Long Barrow is a Neolithic chambered tomb with multiple burial chambers, located near the village of Wellow, Somerset. It is an example of the Severn-Cotswold tomb....

 near Bath has been likened to a "womb-tomb" of the Great Goddess who awaited the return of the sun.

Tolmen stones, such as the example on the North Teign river on Dartmoor
Dartmoor
Dartmoor is an area of moorland in south Devon, England. Protected by National Park status, it covers .The granite upland dates from the Carboniferous period of geological history. The moorland is capped with many exposed granite hilltops known as tors, providing habitats for Dartmoor wildlife. The...

, England, are said to derive their name from the Cornish
Cornish language
Cornish is a Brythonic Celtic language and a recognised minority language of the United Kingdom. Along with Welsh and Breton, it is directly descended from the ancient British language spoken throughout much of Britain before the English language came to dominate...

 tol ("hole") and maen ("stone") and were thought to have been used by Druid
Druid
A druid was a member of the priestly class in Britain, Ireland, and Gaul, and possibly other parts of Celtic western Europe, during the Iron Age....

s for purification and that the wrongdoer was lowered through into the water for lustration, a purification rite or cleansing ritual. The hole
Rock-cut basin
A rock-cut basin, in this usage of the term, is a natural phenomenon. They are cylindrical depressions cut into stream or river beds, often filled with water. Such plucked-bedrock pits are created by kolks; powerful vortices within the water currents which spin small boulders around, eroding out...

 in the stone represented the female birth canal in the Druid or pagan mind, and by passing through it, a person was symbolising the act of rebirth and therefore regaining innocence or being cleansed of post-parturition
Childbirth
Childbirth is the culmination of a human pregnancy or gestation period with the birth of one or more newborn infants from a woman's uterus...

 illness, etc.

Male reproductive structures



Many references have been made to the obviously phallic appearance of standing stones. It is suggested that they may serve as stylised representations of the phallus, the purpose of which is to magically enhance the fertility of humans, animals and crops. A number of practices which are supposed to give fertility to barren women are linked to standing stones throughout Europe. At Avebury and West Kennet Avenue in Wiltshire
Wiltshire
Wiltshire is a ceremonial county in South West England. It is landlocked and borders the counties of Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire. It contains the unitary authority of Swindon and covers...

, the tall pillar and broad diamond shape stones were used alternately in the stone circles, possibly symbolising males and females at these famous pagan
Paganism
Paganism is a blanket term, typically used to refer to non-Abrahamic, indigenous polytheistic religious traditions....

 ritual sites. At Boscawen un stone circle in Cornwall, a leaning central standing stone and a large white quartz
Quartz
Quartz is the second-most-abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust, after feldspar. It is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2. There are many different varieties of quartz,...

 boulder may represent the male and female elements of nature. The Maypole
Maypole
A maypole is a tall wooden pole erected as a part of various European folk festivals, particularly on May Day, or Pentecost although in some countries it is instead erected at Midsummer...

 is often considered a phallic symbol, coinciding with the worship of Germanic phallic figures such as that of Freyr
Freyr
Freyr is one of the most important gods of Norse paganism. Freyr was highly associated with farming, weather and, as a phallic fertility god, Freyr "bestows peace and pleasure on mortals"...

.

Phallic fertility symbols were carved for good luck, and they were also a powerful antagonist to the evil eye. The Romans regularly carved them onto military buildings, and Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian's Wall was a defensive fortification in Roman Britain. Begun in AD 122, during the rule of emperor Hadrian, it was the first of two fortifications built across Great Britain, the second being the Antonine Wall, lesser known of the two because its physical remains are less evident today.The...

 has several at Chesters and Housesteads
Housesteads
Vercovicium, now known as Housesteads Roman Fort, was an auxiliary fort on Hadrian's Wall, in the Roman province of Britannia. Its ruins are located at Housesteads in the civil parish of Bardon Mill in Northumberland, England, somewhat to the south of Broomlee Lough.-History:In the 2nd century AD,...

 forts. One at Barcombe Hill shows a crude phallus and testicles with the legs of a chicken. In Portugal, phalli are represented together with cup-marks, zig-zags, straggly-lines, etc., on the ninety or so stones of the 4000-year-old Cromeleque dos Almendres near Évora
Évora
Évora is a municipality in Portugal. It has total area of with a population of 55,619 inhabitants. It is the seat of the Évora District and capital of the Alentejo region. The municipality is composed of 19 civil parishes, and is located in Évora District....

. At Valhaugen in Norway a realistic representation of a phallus has been found and restored.

Multiple body parts


At Portpatrick on the Island of St. Kilda, there is the impression of a pair of knees and a right hand, said to be those of St. Patrick in the posture of prayer. In Cornwall, St. Newlyna knelt on a stone and left the impression of her elbows and knees in the posture of prayer. At Llanllyfni are found stones with the knee-prints, thumb and bed of St. Gredfyw. Medicine Rock in the USA was located on a hill fifteen miles (24 km) west of Gettysburg
Gettysburg, South Dakota
Gettysburg is a city in Potter County, South Dakota, United States, along the 45th parallel. The population was 1,162 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Potter County. Gettysburg area historical tornado activity is 42 percent less than the overall U.S...

, near the mouth of the Cheyenne Creek. Indians considered it to be a sacred rock and visited it regularly. Five footprints, hand prints and animal prints were originally visible, made by the Great Spirit
Great Spirit
The Great Spirit, also called Wakan Tanka among the Sioux, the Creator or the Great Maker in English, and Gitchi Manitou in Algonquian, is a conception of a supreme being prevalent among some Native American and First Nations cultures...

 of the Native Americans
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

.

Recent and modern petrosomatoglyphs




Located at Smithills Hall
Smithills Hall
Smithills Hall is a Grade I listed manor house, and a Scheduled Monument in the township of Halliwell, now in Bolton, Greater Manchester, England. it stands on the slopes of the moors above Bolton at a height of 500 feet, two miles north west of the town centre. It occupies a defensive site near...

, near Bolton
Bolton
Bolton is a town in Greater Manchester, in the North West of England. Close to the West Pennine Moors, it is north west of the city of Manchester. Bolton is surrounded by several smaller towns and villages which together form the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton, of which Bolton is the...

 in Lancashire
Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

, is the impressed footprint at the bottom of a set of stairs of George Marsh
George Marsh (martyr)
George Marsh was a Protestant Martyr who was born in the parish of Deane, near Bolton in 1515. He died in Boughton, Chester on 24 April 1555 as a result of the Marian Persecutions which were carried out against religious reformers, Protestants, and other dissenters for their beliefs during the...

, a Protestant martyr. In 1555, Marsh was interrogated at Smithills Hall and then taken to Boughton in Cheshire
Boughton, Cheshire
Boughton is a neighbourhood to the east of Chester city centre, part of the unitary authority of Cheshire West and Chester and the ceremonial county of Cheshire, England...

 and burnt at the stake for the sake of his faith. It is said that the footprint is a divine
Divinity
Divinity and divine are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems — and even by different individuals within a given faith — to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power or deity, or its attributes or manifestations in...

 reminder of this unjust persecution and murder.

Often, impressions of hands are made in concrete to commemorate the famous as at Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Grauman's Chinese Theatre is a movie theater at 6925 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood. It is on the historic Hollywood Walk of Fame.The Chinese Theatre was commissioned following the success of the nearby Grauman's Egyptian Theatre which opened in 1922...

 in Hollywood (USA) on pavement slabs or in wet concrete. Making footprints in stone of family members is part of New Age
New Age
The New Age movement is a Western spiritual movement that developed in the second half of the 20th century. Its central precepts have been described as "drawing on both Eastern and Western spiritual and metaphysical traditions and then infusing them with influences from self-help and motivational...

 beliefs.

In Sarajevo
Sarajevo
Sarajevo |Bosnia]], surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans....

, there is a preserved square of footpath or pavement asphalt with two shoe prints which are believed to be those of Gavrilo Princip
Gavrilo Princip
Gavrilo Princip was the Bosnian Serb who assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914...

, made as he waited for the arrival of the motorcade of the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand
Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria
Franz Ferdinand was an Archduke of Austria-Este, Austro-Hungarian and Royal Prince of Hungary and of Bohemia, and from 1889 until his death, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne. His assassination in Sarajevo precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia...

 in June 1914. The Archduke's assassination precipitated the start of the Great War
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

.

See also

  • Folklore
    Folklore
    Folklore consists of legends, music, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, fairy tales and customs that are the traditions of a culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The study of folklore is sometimes called...

  • Saints
  • Megalith
    Megalith
    A megalith is a large stone that has been used to construct a structure or monument, either alone or together with other stones. Megalithic describes structures made of such large stones, utilizing an interlocking system without the use of mortar or cement.The word 'megalith' comes from the Ancient...

  • Rock art
    Rock art
    Rock art is a term used in archaeology for any human-made markings made on natural stone. They can be divided into:*Petroglyphs - carvings into stone surfaces*Pictographs - rock and cave paintings...

  • Cup and ring mark
    Cup and ring mark
    Cup and ring marks or cup marks are a form of prehistoric art found mainly in Atlantic Europe and Mediterranean Europe although similar forms are also found throughout the world including Mexico, Brazil, Greece, and India, where...

  • Menhir
    Menhir
    A menhir is a large upright standing stone. Menhirs may be found singly as monoliths, or as part of a group of similar stones. Their size can vary considerably; but their shape is generally uneven and squared, often tapering towards the top...

  • Flag
    Flag
    A flag is a piece of fabric with a distinctive design that is usually rectangular and used as a symbol, as a signaling device, or decoration. The term flag is also used to refer to the graphic design employed by a flag, or to its depiction in another medium.The first flags were used to assist...

  • Petrosphere
    Petrosphere
    In archaeology, a petrosphere is the name for any spherical man-made object of any size that is composed of stone. These mainly prehistoric artefacts may have been created and/or selected, but altered in some way to perform their specific function, including carving and painting.Several classes of...

  • Carved Stone Balls
    Carved Stone Balls
    Carved Stone Balls are petrospheres, usually round and rarely oval. They have from 3 to 160 protruding knobs on the surface. Their size is fairly uniform, they date from the late Neolithic to possibly the Iron Age and are mainly found in Scotland...

  • Trace fossil
    Trace fossil
    Trace fossils, also called ichnofossils , are geological records of biological activity. Trace fossils may be impressions made on the substrate by an organism: for example, burrows, borings , urolites , footprints and feeding marks, and root cavities...

  • Moot hill
    Moot hill
    A moot hill or mons placiti is a hill or mound historically used as an assembly or meeting place. In early medieval Britain, such hills were used for "moots", meetings of local people to settle local business. Among other things, proclamations might be read; decisions might be taken; court cases...

  • Rock-cut basin
    Rock-cut basin
    A rock-cut basin, in this usage of the term, is a natural phenomenon. They are cylindrical depressions cut into stream or river beds, often filled with water. Such plucked-bedrock pits are created by kolks; powerful vortices within the water currents which spin small boulders around, eroding out...

  • Bullauns

External links