|12 April 2013
Fraggle Rock petroglyphs, West Yorkshire
At least 17 previously unrecorded petroglyphs were uncovered nearly two years ago on the northern edge of Rombald's Moor, in the north of England.
The carvings were found after uncovering a previously undiscovered cairn circle, close to the well known 'Twelve Apostles' stone circle. It was noticed that a small opening in the near horizon highlighted a rise in the landscape barely 1600 metres away. The gap is not visible 20 metres or so either side of the cairn circle, but very notable at the circle itself.
Within minutes of exploring the area, local rock art expert Paul Bennett and his fellow ramblers found a couple of previously unrecorded cup-marked stones of simple design, in line with the cairn circle.
In the direction of the circle, a cluster of small stones were noticed on the slope. One had what looked like a single cup-mark near its edge. Peeling back the vegetation, Bennett revealed cups-and-rings and carved lines covering most of its surface.
The group called it the 'Fraggle Rock' after noticing the two main cup-and-rings resemble large eyes above a down-turning natural 'mouth' feature, similar to faces on some creatures from the children's television show of the same name.
The primary design consists of at least 3 cup-and-rings, 2 partial cup-and-rings, 28 cups and several carved lines along which some cup-markings are linked to others. The most notable of the carved lines is the longest, running from a single cup-mark almost straight and parallel with a natural ridge or dip along the rock, until it meets the largest of the cup-and-rings.
Most of the design is carved on the upper face, but a small group of cups and a single carved line are etched at the edge of the stone. Another stone bearing a faint cup-and-ring lies 9 metres to the south, and 18 metres west of this, a stone with at least four long carved ridges running from the top.
Paul Bennett is the author of 'Circles, Standing Stones & Legendary Rocks of West Yorkshire', 'The Twelve Apostles Stone Circle, Ilkley Moor', 'The Old Stones of Elmet', and co-author of 'The Old Stones of Rollright and District'. Paul lectures on prehistoric rock art and the folklore and archaeology of ancient sites, and offers guided walks in West Yorkshire.
Edited from Megalithix blog (24 February 2013)
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