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10 June 2011
Stone circle found by amateur archaeologists on Ilkley Moor

Amateur archaeologists are celebrating discovering another prehistoric stone circle on Wharfedale's moors. The identification of the previously undocumented cairn on Ilkley Moor (West Yorkshire, England) marks the latest in a series of signficant finds made by a small team of local volunteers over the past year.
     Paul Bennett, Michala Douglas and Paul Hornby stumbled upon the circle, which they believe is an ancient burial site, along with another smaller monument while searching the moor earlier this year. It follows previous discoveries by the group and their friends, which included the finding of a large tomb and several other cairns at Snowden Crags and Askwith Moor in 2010.
     "The circle is upon Ilkley Moor, though we want to keep its exact location quiet until we've done more work on the site, which is going to take months. This is the third previously undiscovered, prehistoric circular monument we've found on the moors north and south of Ilkley in the last few months" Mr Bennett said. "This one seems to be another burial circle. Its edges are defined by at least 25 small stones, but a very minor, non-intrusive excavation seemed to indicate that there are numerous smaller stones all round the edge, making it structurally similar to the Snowden Moor cairn circle," he added.
     "There's a cup-marked stone on one of the stones on its eastern side. Most of the other stones are buried or just beneath the surface so we need to carefully examine it and see what more can be found. The circle measures roughly 27 feet from north to south, and 24 feet east to west. The site seems to be at least Bronze Age, perhaps earlier," Mr Bennett concluded, criticizing the area's professional archaeologists for being slow to respond to such discoveries or pay them due attention.

Edited from Ilkley Gazette (6 June 2011)

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