Books : reviews

Andrew Meirion Jones, Davina Freedman, Blaze O'Connor, Hugo Lamdin-Whymark, Richard Tipping, Aaron Watson.
An Animate Landscape: rock art and the prehistory of Kilmartin, Argyll, Scotland.
Windgather Press. 2011

The Kilmartin landscape in western Scotland is widely regarded as Scotland's richest prehistoric landscape. It contains a number of barrow cemeteries, stone alignments, stone circles and a henge. With over 250 individual rock art sites, it also has the greatest concentration of prehistoric rock art in the British Isles and some of the most impressive rock art sites. An Animate Landscape contains the results of a major research project that included excavations of two sites, Torbhlaren and Ormaig, and the analysis of radiocarbon dates to produce a more coherent chronological context, as well as taking a broader interpretative approach to the landscape. The book argues that the rock art is an active part of the process of socialising the landscape, in which the landscape became more organised from the Late Neolithic onwards, and that this organised landscape relates to broader cosmological concerns. The book is richly illustrated with colour drawings and photographs done by a series of artists to produce a unique visual record of the rock art and its place in the landscape, alongside more traditional archaeological enquiry.