Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New prehistoric rock carvings discovered in Northern England

14.01.2005


More than 250 new examples of England’s finest array of prehistoric rock art carvings, sited close to the Scottish border, have been discovered by archaeologists compiling a unique database.


Example of rock art at Weetwood Moor, Northumberland (credit, Aron Mazel)



Now over one thousand of the ’cup and ring’ carvings can be admired on a new website, which carries 6,000 images and is said to be the most comprehensive of its kind in the world. The site, which goes live today, includes the 250 panels unearthed during a two-and-a-half year trawl of some of England’s remotest countryside, in the expansive moorlands of Northumberland.

Experts, however, are still grappling with the origins and meaning of these abstract carvings, believed to be the work of Neolithic and Early Bronze Age people between 6000 and 3500 years ago, although there are several theories.


Among the new discoveries made by the University of Newcastle upon Tyne archaeologists is a collection at Goatstones, near Wark, where a haul of 14 carved stones was spotted and recorded for the first time. Elsewhere in the county, a local farmer alerted the team to seven panels on his land, which had not been previously recorded. Old favourites will also be featured in the website, such as the country’s largest collection of rock art featured in one place, at Roughting Linn.

Inspiration for the project came from the Northumberland rock art specialist, Dr Stan Beckensall, who donated his archive of books, photographs, drawings, rubbings and more to Newcastle University. Funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Board enabled Dr Stan Beckensall and University archaeologist Dr Aron Mazel to take things a step further.

For the past two and a half years the pair have been updating and expanding the resource so that a comprehensive archive accessible for all elements of the international community – academic and school children alike – can be made available.

The new website, which goes live today, has been created with the help of Heritage Media, a company specialising in the design of websites for heritage topics, set up by Newcastle University graduates Jessica Kemp and Marc Johnstone, together with computer database and website expert Horacio Ayestaran. The principal investigator was Prof Geoff Bailey, previously at Newcastle University but now with the Department of Archaeology at the University of York.

Features of the new website, which can be viewed at http://rockart.ncl.ac.uk include:

A browse facility where users can view all panels or browse by parish, map, panel type, location, access (including suitability for wheelchairs), image type, and art motifs

• An advanced search facility

• An extensive bibliography of Northumberland rock art for academic and specialist users

• An ’interactive zone’, mainly aimed at younger and non-specialist users. Features include video and audio clips, games with a rock art theme, photo galleries presenting some of the project’s finest images of Northumberland rock art and showing the team and colleagues at work

• An archive featuring around 6,000 images, including 360 degree photographs (’bubbleworlds’) showing rock art in its landscape setting, drawings, digital images, and digitised slides and negatives.

Project leader, Aron Mazel, of Newcastle University’s School of Historical Studies, said: "It’s incredibly important that we are aware of our heritage, not least because it helps us understand our own origins and identities. Our team has spent the last few years on a prehistoric ’adventure’ and now we’re at the stage where we can share our finds with others.

"The Beckensall archive gave this project a head start but we’ve also been very excited to find new specimens of this very special art. There are likely to be more carved stones there hidden under the undergrowth so we’re sure this is not the end of the story," said Dr Mazel, adding that he hoped that the information presented on the website would encourage further research into this special archaeological resource.

Stan Beckensall added: "One of the key aims was to promote widespread enjoyment of this fascinating part of our history, and the web was the obvious medium to reach out to the 21st century historian, amateur and professional alike.

"I’m sure the artists who hammered their symbols on the stones thousands of years ago, on their windswept moorland settlements, never imagined their work would become such a world phenomenon as this!"

John Holmes, One NorthEast director of regeneration and tourism, said: "The site is great news for visitors looking to explore the region’s amazing and little known historical treasures including ancient rock art, Iron Age hillforts and standing stones.

"Hopefully this will whet the appetite of many would be visitors, keen to see these rock features in the flesh, and give people an extra reason to make the

North East of England a place to visit this year."

Aron Mazel | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ncl.ac.uk
http://www.visitnorthumbria.com

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>