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• Archaeology around the UK

New Rock Art Discovery

Archaeologists have found a trio of extraordinary stone carvings while charting the phenomenon of prehistoric rock markings in Northumberland, close to the Scottish border.

Records and examples of over 950 prehistoric rock art panels are known from Northumberland. These are of the traditional 'cup and ring' variety, with a typical specimen featuring a series of cups and concentric circles pecked into

Below The face carving found near Rothbury, Northumberland. Is this the recent work of a lonely quarryman?

sandstone outcrops and boulders.

However, archaeologists at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, who are studying prehistoric rock carvings, are baffled by three unusual markings found carved into rocks at separate locations. These consist of a small heart shape and a stylised carving of a human face found near prehistoric rock carvings close to Rothbury. A third was discovered near Wark, and is made up of an unusual combination of lines and circles that make it impossible to say what it depicts.

The usual 'cup and ring' marks are thought to have been made thousands of years ago by Neolithic and Early Bronze Age people. However, experts think the newlydiscovered mystery marks could be much younger, with the heart and the face shapes potentially as little as 100-250 years old.

Dr Aron Mazel, of Newcastle University's School of Historical

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