Greetings and welcome to Mountains of Meaning. This blog examines mountain environments from the perspective of landscape archaeology, becoming somewhat whimsical at times in an attempt to express the influence of the landscape on myself; How peoples in different times interacted with, on and around mountains, is considered and how this can inform us about how ancient and not so ancient people used and perceived and  these places. To what extent does the landscape become embedded in our collective and individual psyche? My native Cumbria has extensive prehistoric upland archaeology as well as the more well known lowland sites such as Castlerigg,  Mayburgh henges and Long Meg not to forget her Daughters; I also consider how the archaeology here relates to other sites across the British and Irish Isles, and more distant lands around the world.

Many mountains across the world are still regarded as sacred by modern societies and here I wish to explore how this attribute relates to mountains here in the Cumbrian Fells of England; a place where we know prehistoric peoples were living and working from the earliest Neolithic period quarrying the volcanic strata to manufacture the stone axes that were traded across the British and Irish Isles. In doing this I will be looking at any relevant ethnographic comparisons and how we may gain an insight into the spiritual beliefs that may have been held by prehistoric societies and how high places may fit into their world view. Contemporary beliefs in a highly technological fast-moving age have, in some cases, returned to more elemental roots; in particular the potential overlap of how people currently interact spiritually with natural places and prehistoric sites and whether these beliefs have any connection with more ancient cosmologies.

I have been researching the prehistoric archaeology of Cumbria for many years now, spent some time in academic study and now continue as an independent researcher. I live in the Cumbrian Fells and consequently have a strong affinity with the landscape; where, in an environment  more closely walked than any other in the country, it is perhaps surprising that it is still possible to discover new prehistoric sites.

  1. Steve said:

    Hello Peter

    I’ve been working on a rock art discovery in Upper Eskdale with Aaron Watson, and he suggested that you might know of a contact email address for Peter Rodgers? It’s a long time since I have heard from him, and I hope he’s OK.

    Looking forward to hearing from you

    Steve Dickinson


    • I haven’t seen Pete since the LDNPA conference in October, I am afraid I do not have a current email address for him either, perhaps try John Hodgson?
      I was very interested to hear about your new rock art find, unfortunately I couldn’t make it to TAG to see your paper – I would be intrigued to see a picture of your new find if possible, it sounds like its in a great setting, my email is
      As you may know I have an interest in rock art and have discovered a number of cup-marked slabs in the Lake District, the latest finds will be in the CWAAS Newsletter this month.
      Look forward to hearing from you.


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