Bronze Age (2000-1000BC)

Prehistoric Rock Art of the West Riding

Scattered carvings on natural rock surfaces are found on a number of moors in West Yorkshire. Circular hollows or ‘cups’, cut into the rock, are often encircled by one or more incised ‘rings’, or associated with grooves that surround or link the cups and rings. Association of such ‘cup-and-ring’ carvings with other dateable archaeological evidence from other areas, in particular burials, suggests that they date from the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age, i.e. c.2000 BC or even earlier. Familiar examples on Ilkley Moor in West Yorkshire, such as the ‘Swastika Stone’, ‘Badger Stone’, ‘Hangingstones’ and ‘Panorama Stone’, have fascinated local archaeologists for over a century and may well be known to you, but the fact is that similar carvings have a much wider distribution in the area. The number of known carvings is now over 700, and others continue to come to light.