Recording Rock Art

people recording rock art with paper and wax crayon

How were the Beckensall drawings made?

During the last forty years Dr Stan Beckensall has created thousands of drawings of rock art panels which have helped rock art enthusiasts and researchers to appreciate what is present on the carved rocks. Although the traditional recording methods used by Stan has now been largely superseded by non-contact, objective recording methods such as photogrammetry and laser scanning, his striking black and white drawings continue to provide a valuable source of information.

Stand Beckensall recording rock art with paper and wax crayon

Stan began the recording process by securing a piece of newsprint over the rock and then outlining the features on the surface following the contours of the rock surface with a wax crayon. Back in the office, the resulting ‘rubbings’ were then converted the into scale drawings. These were checked with many additional visits to the rock art in different lighting conditions, before the final version was published. Stan's drawings for Northumberland rock art are now available digitally in the Beckensall Archive and England's Rock Art website.