Exploring Waterford's Ancient Monuments

Mothel - Carved Stone

Mothel - Carved Stone

The carvings on this stone are a number of small hollows or 'cupmarks', most of which are surrounded by a single circle. One cupmark has two circles, one within the other. The stone is triangular in shape with a curved surface measuring 0.5 X 0.41 X 0.17 metres.

The carvings are approximately 4,000 years old. Broadly similar carvings are known throughout Atlantic Europe and beyond. The meaning of this type of rock art is unknown - it is easy to make a guess but without hard evidence it can only be speculation.  

The stone was recorded as being found in a fence, close to a cross-inscribed stone pillar in the same townland of Mothel near Carrick – on – Suir.

It was acquired for University College Cork by Rev. Canon Patrick Power, Professor of Archaeology, possibly shortly after its first publication in 1897 by Power.  It is preserved on public display in UCC's historic Stone Corridor as part of the 'Stories in Stone' exhibition there.



Reading sources for this item:

 Archaeological Inventory of County Waterford, by Michael Moore, Department of the Environment, 1997;


 'A 'Problem' Solved: The Location of the Stone with Rock-Art from Mothel, County Waterford', by Elizabeth Shee Twohig, in the Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland, volume 127, 1997, pages 127-128;


 'Cup and Circle inscribed Stone at Mothel', by Patrick Power, in the Journal of the Waterford and South East of Ireland Archaeological Society, no. 3, 1897, pages 117-118.



Photo:  Martin Mullen © University College Cork by permission of University Heritage Services UCC.

Text supplied by UCC. Contact University Curator - email Curator  - visit Website www.ucc.ie/en/


Directions: University College Cork is situated on College Road, which is just a short walking distance from the centre of Cork City.


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