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If you ever visit Northumberland, you will see that a significant fraction of the region is the high moorland’s undeveloped landscape. The undeveloped landscape is home to many examples of rock art, which was an ancient pastime. It was made by the people of the Neolithic Age and the early Bronze Age. That means the people were born between six thousand to three thousand five hundred years ago. The British Isles has the various rock art pieces as one of its most prominent prehistoric art collections, but no one knows what the meaning of them is. Northumberland’s rock art has significant extent and importance. Dr Stan Beckensall was the first to praise the rock art. It was when he went to a rock art panel in Northumberland in the middle of the 60s. For the first time, he saw a cup and ring mark rock art. Since then, there has been extensive documentation done on the rock art that has lead to more excellent knowledge of Northumberland’s rock art.

What Was The Rock Carvings’ Purpose?

A prominent part of North-Eastern England’s heritage is the ancient rock carvings that are carved in the natural rock surfaces. The carvings are called rock art. People usually call them the cup and ring marks. They give us a visible connection to humanity’s ancestors in showing that they did other stuff aside from trying to survive from day-to-day. Their lives had a side dedicated to creativity and potentially spirituality. You will usually find rock art on boulders stuck in the ground, outcrops, or in situ. The carvings show us that the people of the Neolithic and early Bronze Age had a close connection with their natural surroundings that they lived in all those years ago.

How Did They Make The Rock Carvings?

Most of the rock carvings you find will be carved into sandstone rocks. Several different tools were used to create the carvings. Tools with a chisel end and ones with a nail-like point were some of the different types of tools used. The people that carved the carvings would have had to have used a rock. The rock would have to be a harder one than the rock they’d carve into, like andesite or whinstone. The most likely method they used before was using a mallet to hit the sharper rock into the rock they were cutting into with the sharper rocks. There hasn’t been any tool found that was the ones used for rock carvings. But a pick was located close to rock carvings that date back to the Iron Age during an excavation.

What Were The Meanings Behind The Rock Carvings?

The first theories of the meanings of the rock carvings talked about how they were a symbol or sign that was connected to the spirit of the people they know that have passed away. Richard Bradley had a theory back in the 90s. It was about how the rock carvings had some correlation between the altitude of the carvings and how complex they were. If the carvings were on a higher place in a mountain or such, then it would have a more complex design. Waddington had a theory back in the 90s as well. It was about how the carvings drew inspiration from nature’s natural-occurring patterns. It was the people’s way of leaving their marks on the world. But during the early Bronze Age, the carvings went from a symbolic creation to a creation that demonstrated their control over nature.


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