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Viewing swaag.org website implies consent to set cookies on your computer. Full details Swaledale and Arkengarthdale Archaeology Group
Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Number 1155775
SWAAG Honorary President:
Tim Laurie FSA

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 *****SWAAG_ID***** 996
 Date Entered 29/05/2017
 Updated on 06/06/2017
 Recorded by Tim Laurie
 Category Rock Art
 Record Type Archaeology
 Site Access Private
 Location Skelton Moor, Forty Acres
 Civil Parish Marske
 Brit. National Grid Hidden
 Record Name Cup marked rocks, their possible origin and context
 Record Description This Record is an attempt to provide a possible context for the wide-spread practice of cup marking earth fast boulders, standing stones and burial cairns which is such a feature on the moors between Swaledale and Teesdale and elsewhere. See the example on Skelton Moor below. Many years ago, during an archaeological tour of Sardinia, I photographed the extra-ordinary, cracked, egg-shaped boulder entirely covered with multi cup marks show below. This extra-ordinary egg-shaped boulder was located close to the stepped proto pyramid temple of Monte d'Accoddi. I have thought subsequently that this cup marked cracked egg boulder may provide a reference to the Pelasgian Creation Myth as described by Robert Graves, (Robert Graves, 1955. 'The Greek Myths.'). If so, this cracked egg shaped boulder may provide the basis for an understanding of the origins and context of the widespread practice of cup marking across Europe during the Neolithic. Robert Graves, Vol 1, Beginnings, page 35, details the Pelasgian Creation Myth. With apologies to Robert Graves, I provide the following very brief extract relevant to this context as follows: 'In the beginning, Eurynome, the Goddess of All Things, rose naked from Chaos, but found nothing substantial for her feet to rest upon, and therefore divided the sea from the sky, dancing lonely upon its waves....... next, fertilised by Boreas, the North wind in the guise of the Great Serpent Ophion, she assumed the form of a dove, brooding on the waves and in due process of time, laid the Universal Egg. At her bidding, Ophion coiled seven times about the egg, until it hatched and split in two. Out tumbled all things that exist, her children: sun, moon,, planets, stars, the earth with all its mountains and rivers, its trees, herbs and living creatures.'
 Dimensions See attached photos
 Additional Notes The remarkable cracked egg shaped boulder appears to be a water worn, possibly glacial erratic boulder. This raises at least two questions: 1. Was Sardinia ever glaciated? 2. What forces, if nor freeze- thaw, could crack such a large hard volcanic boulder and how are the two broken sections preserved together so closely?
 Image 1 ID 7357         Click image to enlarge
 Image 1 Description Skelton Moor. Cup marked boulder
 Image 2 ID 7355         Click image to enlarge
 Image 2 Description Sardinia. Monte d' Accoddi Neoloithic proto stepped pyramid with cup marked cracked egg-shaped boulder.
 Image 3 ID 7356         Click image to enlarge
 Image 3 Description The multiple cup marked cracked egg-shaped boulder. Detail.
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