3,000 Year Old Prehistoric Art Discovered in South Yorkshire

For John Gilpin, a Woodlands Officer in the Council’s Parks and Countryside department at Sheffield Council (South Yorkshire, England) a day’s routine maintenance in Ecclesall woods, turned out to be a day to remember when he discovered an example of prehistoric art that dates from the Late Bronze Age.

John found a boulder marked with a series of strange lines and cuts.  The boulder has been examined by Archaeologists and declared a “significant archaeological find.”
Jim McNeil, of South Yorkshire Archaeological Service, said:

“I was called in and recorded the discovery, taking photographs.  I have taken advice from a specialist who considers this to be an important piece of prehistoric rock art.  This is the second example of such rock art from Ecclesall Woods, although other examples are known from the Peak District and further north in the Pennines.”

Despite having been carefully studied by experts, the exact meaning of the carvings remains unclear.

The previous discovery of prehistoric rock art in Ecclesall Woods was in 1983. The only other example nearby is at Gardom’s Edge, north of Baslow in the Peak District.
Mary Bagley, Director of the Parks and Countryside department at Sheffield Council, stated:

“This just goes to show what things we have in our parks, woodlands and countryside that we didn’t know were there – and to think we were a City of Culture all those years ago.”

The find is one of a number of new archaeological discoveries made around South Yorkshire in recent years, finds which include rare Iron Age pottery plus evidence of a Roman settlement.

Ecclesall wood is a 140 hectare area of ancient woodland found southwest of the city of Sheffield (South Yorkshire).  It is a popular visitor attraction and has a rich archaeological heritage as well as providing an important habitat for many native and non-native types of fauna and flora.

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