Prehistoric rock art discovered in Brecon Beacons

Date:

Share post:

A large stone containing engraved Bronze Age rock art has been found by a national park geologist in the Brecon Beacons and confirmed as the first prehistoric rock engraved panel to be discovered in the region.

Prehistoric rock art discovered in Brecon Beacons
Experts think the stone served as a way marker for farming communities [Credit: BBC]

Dr George Nash of Bristol’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology said the engraving, found by geologist Alan Bowring, could be more than 4,000 years old.

Mr Bowring came across the stone last year while he was examining the site, on land maintained by the National Trust, for clues to its geological history. Its precise location in the Brecon Beacons has not been revealed.

Prehistoric rock art discovered in Brecon Beacons
D-stretch image of the central section of the stone showing clearly the
cupmarked surface [Credit: Dr G. H. Nash]

The stone, which measures around 1.45m by 0.5m, has 12 cup (hollow) marks of various shapes and sizes on its face. Now lying flat on the ground, it could once have stood upright and served as a way marker (standing stone) for farming communities. Such stones have been discovered in other parts of the UK but are rare in mid-Wales.

Based on the shape of the stone and its engravings, Dr Nash believes it probably dates from the Early to Middle Bronze Age period: 2,500 BC to 1,500 BC.

Prehistoric rock art discovered in Brecon Beacons
Detail of the recumbent cupmarked stone [Credit: Dr G. H. Nash]

Dr Nash said: “There are a large number of prehistoric ritual sites in the Brecon Beacons but this is the first evidence of prehistoric rock art ever to be recorded in this part of Wales. We don’t know of any other later prehistoric standing stones in the Beacons that are cup marked. Such marks are the most common later prehistoric rock art form in Britain and Europe, but their occurrence in mid Wales is rare.”

As part of a much wider research project, Dr Nash will be undertaking, along with a team from the National Trust and the Brecon Beacons National Park Service, a thorough landscape survey of the immediate area. A fundamental part of the survey will be to trace and digitally record the cupmarked stone.

Source: University of Bristol [March 10, 2014]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Clovis comet theory comes crashing to Earth

It seemed like such an elegant answer to an age-old mystery: the disappearance of what are arguably North...

Slave artifacts found at Georgia highway project site

A Mexican coin punctured with a small hole, nails from long-decayed wooden dwellings, and broken bits of plates...

Hubble peers into the center of a spiral

This Hubble image shows the central region of a spiral galaxy known as NGC 247. NGC 247 is...

More infectious diseases emerging because of climate change

The appearance of infectious diseases in new places and new hosts, such as West Nile virus and Ebola,...

NASA mission reveals speed of solar wind stripping Martian atmosphere

NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) mission has identified the process that appears to have played a...

Excavations at Bhamala in Pakistan completed

Archaeologists find it difficult to conduct fieldwork in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P). The stakes are high as law and...

Ocean acidification impacting population demography and hindering adaptation potential

Ocean acidification may be impacting upon the population dynamics of marine species and hindering their ability to genetically...

Hubble confirms new dark spot on Neptune

New images obtained on May 16, 2016, by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope confirm the presence of a dark...