Website offers overview of prehistoric art

Jan. 14, 2005 at 3:42 PM

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, England, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Fans of prehistoric British rock carvings can now view thousands of images on a new Web site.

The site, rockart.ncl.ac.uk, also includes pictures of 250 carvings recently found by archaeologists from the University of Newcastle. The team spent more than two years in a detailed survey of rural Northumberland looking for "cup and ring" carvings.

Stan Beckensall, a specialist in Northumbrian rock art, inspired the online project, donating his collection of books, rubbings and photographs to the university.

The site includes 6,000 images, including some 360-degree photographs that allow viewers to see carvings in their natural setting. The collection is designed to be used by everyone from school children to experts in the subject.

The carvings were done 6,000 to 3,500 years ago by Neolithic and early Bronze Age Britons. The abstract works still baffle scholars who have yet to agree on their purpose and meaning.

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