Over 100 new examples of British prehistoric rock art have been disovered in Northumberland and County Durham that are 5000 years old.

British prehistoric rock art

Over 100 new examples discovered

The Telegraph
7th August 2008

Over 100 new examples of prehistoric art have been discovered carved into rocky outcrops and boulders throughout Northumberland and Durham
Picture: B.Kerr / English Heritage

The 5,000-year-old Neolithic carvings of concentric circles, interlocking rings and hollowed cups were uncovered as part of a four-year English Heritage-funded initiative, in partnership with Northumberland and Durham County Councils, to record and publish online all the prehistoric rock art within the region
Picture: English Heritage

Around 2,500 rock art panels have been recorded to date in England, and English Heritage is hoping that the pioneering work undertaken will be continued in other counties to create a nationwide record of this link to our prehistoric past
Picture: B.Kerr / English Heritage

One of the most interesting new discoveries is a large and elaborately carved panel on Barningham Moor, Co. Durham. The flat sandstone panel features many complex abstract carvings - interlocking grooves and hollowed cups with surrounding circles
Picture: English Heritage

Richard Stroud, one of the specially-trained volunteers involved in the project, said: "We expected to discover just one or two simple carvings. Instead we found a breathtaking panel, probably one of the most complex discovered in County Durham. There is a gulf of time and civilisation between the society that carved this stone and ours, its true meaning is something we'll possibly never understand. I am proud that our work has helped preserve this fragile link to our ancestors"
Picture: A. Oswald

Edward Impey, Director of Research and Standards at English Heritage, said: "The British landscape is thickly scattered with these fascinating and enigmatic works of ancient art. The online record of the Northumberland and Durham examples will serve as the starting point for a national survey, and, we hope, help us understand their meaning and lead to the discovery of others"
Picture: NADRAP

The practice of carving rocks flourished during the Neolithic period - about 4,000 to 6,000 years ago. Today, many carvings have been lost to natural erosion and human activities such as quarrying and field clearance
Picture: B.Kerr / English Heritage