Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Stone Carving - Prehistoric Rock Art

A local artist friend, Maria Silmon (Photography, Digital Art and Video) and I were very lucky recently to go out onto the North Yorkshire Moors with Paul Bryan from English Heritage and Graham Lee, Senior Archaeological Conservation Officer with the National Park on a survey they were conducting on the Rock Art.

A fire in 2003 burnt the heather revealing the Rock Art beneath

Both Maria and I have a fascination for these ancient stones and have been doing a bit of research with a view creating work inspired by our findings in some way - so this outing was a real bonus.

My first cup and ring stone

Though it was sunny when we set off, there was a good thick fog on the moor but it remained fine - so we were able to examine the stones thoroughly. It just amazes me to think of Stone Age people, there on the moor, with some sort of chisel implement, making these carvings. Throughout the morning I was creating stories around who I imagined these people to be and why they were making the marks. It seems we have significantly underestimated the ability and intelligence of our ancestors, evidenced by what we keep finding.

More cups

The whole trip left me with a feeling of connection and yet mystery - lots of satisfaction from actually seeing the stone and the ancient marks but so many questions raised, what for and why? They seem to have a pull on me, a comfortable drawing in as if I belong with them. Aesthetically they are very charming.  A big thankyou to Graham and Paul for their expertise and knowlege.

No doubt this will be the first of many trips, I am fascinated and the lure is strong.

I am reading a wonderful book 'Prehistoric Rock Art in the North York Moors' by Paul M Brown and Graeme Chappell which is a great resource on the subject.

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