York Museum Stone
Bronze Age Carved Rock (PRANYM ROB2A*)
York Museum Gardens  OS Map Ref SE599522
OS Maps - Landranger 105 (York & Selby), Explorer 290 (York)


York Museum Carved Stone
The York Museum carved stone.
This piece of rock art has somehow found its way into the gardens of York Museum where it now stands alongside other unmarked rocks used as seats for unsuspecting summer visitors to eat their picnics on. It is believed to have come from the Robin Hood's Bay area some 60 miles away and was presented to the York Philosophical Society in 1895 by a Canon Raines. As the exact location of its find is unclear it is impossible to put the stone into any kind of landscape context but many of the prehistoric barrows and cairns around the coast of North Yorkshire offer fines views out towards the sea so it could be that this stone originally did too. The size and shape of the block suggests it may have been cut from an earthfast panel when it was removed from the moor rather than having formed a kerb stone or cist cover within a barrow.
The design itself consists of six cups all with rings or penannulars, the central motif is the clearest and has four penannulars plus a finely incised groove running out from the cup towards the edge of the rock (the top edge in the image above) while three other cups also appear to have slightly more worn shorter grooves running out from their centres. The motif to the lower right has a cup and three penannulars, the cups at the lower and top left corners each have a pair of rings and the final two motifs near the left edge have a single penannular each.

Suggested Date: Bronze Age

*Update: This stone is numbered ROB2A in Chappell & Brown's 'Prehistoric Rock Art in the North York Moors' 2005 (PRANYM) and may have been one of the stones that were removed from the Ravenscar area to the grounds of what is now the Raven Hall Hotel before the collection was 'lost' for over a hundred years (see also Ravenscar Carved Rock). Well done to Graeme and Paul for some excellent detective work.

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