Some Stimulating Solutions

  • Andrew Cochrane


How do Irish passage tomb motifs influence people? What are the politics of spectators engaging with depicted motifs on stone? How might people construct cosmologies, worldviews and beliefs through these entanglements? Can broader understandings be created by including intimate engagements with essences in and of the world? Is it appropriate or indeed useful to regard all‘non-living’ materials as inanimate and passive in contrast to the ‘living’ animate and active aspects of an environment? These questions form the initial stimuli for an investigation of the motifs present on some Irish Neolithic passage tombs. By further considering the dynamic effects that the application of liquids can make to images carved in to stone, I will demonstrate how modern dichotomies and certain assumptions increasingly impede richer expressions of an interpretation of a Neolithic period in Ireland. Rather than viewing the images through a textual representational analogy, I will instead...


Belief System Visual Imagery Structural Stone Painted Image Cosmological Significance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to thank Paul Webb for managing to retrieve all the images from my corrupted 1 GB memory card. Oliver Harris, Alasdair Whittle, Doug Bailey, Muiris O’Sullivan and Kate Waddington were very kind in reading earlier drafts of this chapter. The mistakes are still mine alone. Ian Russell read this chapter and also devoted much time to discussion, and for this I thank him. I would like to thank Leontia Lenehan from the Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre near Donore, Co. Meath for repeatedly granting access to the sites, and Steve Trick for being the designated driver who suffered hours of my continual story-telling! Ken Williams has once again generously allowed me to use images from his recent ‘Shadows and Stones’ exhibition (see and I thank him for his support. Many thanks are given to Sharon Webb for allowing access to the Kilmartin House Museum replica and for assisting in bathing the stone in milk! I would also like to thank Carl Knappett and Lambros Malafouris for inviting me to the TAG session, for commenting on earlier versions of this chapter, and for creating this volume.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of History and ArchaeologyUniversity of CardiffCardiffUK

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