Anyone can be involved in finding and recording Scotland’s rock art! You can participate as an individual, or as part of one of our trained Community Teams:
There are probably hundreds of unrecorded prehistoric carvings across Scotland, even in built up areas. If you would like to search for undiscovered rock art, you will find information on how to do this on our Finding rock art page. Please note that rock art can be difficult to identify, and it is easy to confuse it with natural features on the rock surface so do please check very carefully. It is always worth making another visit in different light conditions to check if the features really do look like prehistoric carvings. You can learn more about how to identify rock art in our Recognising Rock Art guidance notes.
If you think you have found a new rock art panel, please get in contact with us with the following information:
Description of the carved rock and how to find it
At least four photographs clearly showing (a) the carved rock and (b) its setting in the landscape.
Any other information you think will be useful
You could also contact your local Community Team. They can visit the panel and, if you want, they can work with you to record the rock art in detail and upload this information to our database.
If you are not part of one of our Community Teams but still want to record rock art in detail, our guidance on this website will help you through each stage of our recording methods. Please read this guidance carefully, and contact us if you would like any more information. If you want to share your rock art records and make them publicly accessible, you will need to register as a Community Team (even if you are an individual), and attend one of our training sessions.
You can also add information and photographs to an existing rock art record using MyCanmore. This information will then be publicly accessible on the National Record for the Historic Environment of Scotland.
We are working with trained Community Teams across Scotland to create detailed records of all Scotland’s rock art, including 3D models. This information will be included in our database, where it will be publicly accessible via our website. We will share all this information with the National Record for the Historic Environment of Scotland (Canmore) and regional Historic Environment Records, so that we all have access to a consistent archive of Scotland’s rock art.
Find out more about our Community Teams
Anyone interested in recording rock art can be part of a Community Team! Our Project Team will provide expert training, guidance and support, so no previous experience is necessary. We particularly value the involvement of people with an interest in rock art, photography, and/or archaeological fieldwork.
If you are genuinely interested in working with us to locate and record rock art, there are various ways in which you can get involved:
Contact one of our existing Community Teams using the contact details on their web page
Set up a new Community Team in an area not already covered by one of our existing Teams. Please contact us to talk about training and getting started. You may also like to get in touch with your local archaeology society or special interest group to see if other people in your area are interested in being involved.
Community Teams are the lifeblood of the Scotland's rock Art Project. In most cases, Teams will be formed from members of a local archaeology or history society, and other interested individuals in the area. Some Community Teams may be made up entirely of people who live in the same area but who are not part of a local society, and who may not necessarily know each other.
Community Teams may vary in size from tens of people to a few individuals. In areas where large numbers of people are interested in working with us, we recommend that you divide into smaller groups (4-8 people is ideal), as this will enable your fieldwork to be more flexible and efficient.
Trained members of Teams may also prefer to work on their own at times, particularly if they want to record rock art in a new area. We recommend that if you do work on your own, you keep in regular contact with your Team and with us, and always complete a risk assessment before doing fieldwork.
We encourage trained Community Teams to make sure they have insurance cover for their fieldwork. If you are in any doubt about this, please get in contact with us to discuss.
During the project we may take photographs of you and your team, and gather oral recordings, and other information from you. We ask all Community Team members for their permission to use this information for raising awareness about the project and about rock art before they start recording. If you are interested in being involved, you can find out more about how we use these data in our Participant Information sheet.
We provide training for all Community Teams. Training will cover locating and recording rock art, creating 3D models, and uploading data to our database. We are running a series of one- and two-day training courses across Scotland for groups of people interested in working with us as part of a Community Team.
Once a Team has been trained in how to record rock art, we recommend a trial period of 2-3 months when members of the Team visit several rock art panels to practice the recording methods. We will then arrange a return visit to discuss any issues, and provide add-on training as required. After that, the Team is ready to get started.
Find out more about training
Community Teams will do a number of things, including:
Locate and verify prehistoric carvings known in Scotland.
Search for ‘undiscovered’ rock art in areas where carvings are already known, and in areas where there are gaps in our record
Submit this information to the Scotland's Rock Art Project (ScRAP database) using our online form
Community Teams may also wish develop, or be involved in creative initiatives, interpretation projects, data analysis, more detailed archaeological investigations (such as excavation), research, publications, and other ways of sharing and raising awareness of Scotland’s prehistoric rock art. If you are interested in any of these things, we would love to talk to you, and can help you develop your ideas.
This is entirely up to you. Community Teams may want to record a handful of rock art panels in one area, or cover large areas. Some Team members may devote more time than others, and want to keep going for longer. There are no limits to how little or how much time you spend on the project.
We are aiming to complete the field recording by the end of 2020 so that we can analyse the information collected by the Teams. The project itself will finish in December 2021, and we will not be able to support you after that, but we hope that the Teams will continue to search for and record rock art, and pass their knowledge on to others in their community.
The Scotland's Rock Art Project is working with several trained Community Teams to build a consistent, publicly accessible database of prehistoric carvings using specific recording methods.
Creating detailed, digital records of Scotland's rock art is essential for better understanding, sustainability, and public awareness. You can find out about our recording methods in this section!
Finding rock art is very rewarding, but often quite difficult! In this section we offer a few tips that may help you find those 'hidden' panels.
Before going out and looking for rock art, there are some important things that you should be aware of. You will also need to know what equipment to use. You can find out all about it here!
To be part of one of our Community Teams, we recommended that you attend our training sessions. In these training sessions you will learn how to find, identify, and record rock art using a range of techniques.
Follow these simple steps to prepare for a fantastic day out doing fieldwork and recording rock art. Don't forget your wellingtons and waterproofs!
Like any other type of archaeological fieldwork, rock art recording uses specific methods and techniques. Learn how to record rock art, and find out what types of information you should be documenting.
Fieldwork is only one part of the method for recording rock art. In this section you can read about how to process information captured in the field, and how to build 3D models of the carved rocks.
Once you have processed all the information collected in the field, your photographs, and your 3D models, you can upload it into our database. Find out how in this section.