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28 July 2011
Tests confirm age of prehistoric carving in Wales

Recent discovery of a stylized reindeer engraving in a South Wales by Dr George Nash from the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of Bristol, now has been scientifically dated. The date of the flowstone that covers the head of the reindeer is 12,572 +/- 659 years Before Present, and the rock-art below may be much earlier. It is now confirmed that the carved reindeer is one of Britain's earliest examples of engraved figurative rock art.
     Dr Nash discovered the faint engraving while visiting the Gower Peninsula caves near Swansea in September 2010 with students and members of the Clifton Antiquarian Club. "This engraving appears to have made by an artist using a flint point held in his or her right hand onto a limestone panel covered with flowstone.  The panel forms part of a very tight niche at the back of the cave," Dr Nash said.
     The discovery has being officially verified by experts from Oxford and Durham universities and the National Museum of Wales. The project team that includes Dr Peter van Calsteren and Dr Louise Thomas from the Open University, and Dr Mike Simms from the National Museums Northern Ireland is being financially supported by Cadw and logistically administered by the National Museum Wales.

Edited from Dr George Nash PR (28 July 2011)

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