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Carving In Wales Could Be The Oldest In United Kingdom

Rockart

First Posted: 08/02/11 06:09 PM ET Updated: 10/02/11 06:12 AM ET

A 14,000 year old carving found in a cave on the Gower peninsula, a part of South West Wales, may be the oldest example of rock art in Britain. The carving of a reindeer is an example of Upper Paleolithic rock art, the second discovery of the kind in the British Isles.

Dr. George Nash of the University of Bristol discovered the carving in September of 2010 while with students and members of the Clifton Antiquarian Club. The deer-like motif is hidden in the recesses of the cave and was carved with a sharp tool, possibly made of flint. In a press release from the University of Bristol, Dr George Nash said of the discovery:

The discovery is unique in both rarity and style and is unlike other art found during this early period of prehistory. The engraving could be a personal and sacred statement on his or her environment made during a respite between hunting expeditions that followed megafauna along ancestral migration routes across the landmass that once covered the Bristol, Channel.

Researchers who completed an analysis of the carving via radiocarbon dating placed it at roughly 12,600 years. Dr Nash, who discovered it, thinks it is older. The first discovery of British rock art from the Upper Paleolithic was discovered in 2003 at Creswell Crags in England.

The location of the art is being kept a secret as of now, though it is known to be in a cave that is open to the public. After the art is verified by experts at the National Museum of Wales and Cadw, it's location will be revealed.

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Filed by Sydney Edelist  |