It seems appropriate here to link the old and the new – Scotland (Old Caledonia) and New Caledonia off the East coast of Australia. Both areas abound in megalithic-style engravings.
The standing stone and the other specimen I photographed in Scotland in their present home in a museum. The smaller specimen is an example of the “cupmarks” which I mentioned earlier. In this case there is no squiggly line running from the centre to the outside -sorry about that! The number of cupmarks in the British Isles alone will run into hundreds of thousands – if not more. It seems generally assumed that cupmarks of whichever style may be the oldest form of rock engraving. They tend to be more prevalent in Northern and in Western areas. They seem to be associated with mineral deposits. They seem random, existing in big groupings.
In New Caledonia there are many areas where megalithic-style carvings predominate. The style is totally different from the traditions of the local Melanesian population. Much of New Caledonia is rich in minerals. In New Zealand also there are examples of the same rock carvings – again separate from the local Maori population in style.