As we all know there are many rock art sites on the archaeological record but this is only a fraction of the many hundreds that have possibly been carved. Over the last few centuries a number been lost, some have suffered from natural erosion, the unnatural onslaught of quarrymen and in some areas fire and agricultural practices too has taken its toll.
Sadly some of our most prominent rock art sites have been plagued by graffiti artists from as long as 150 years ago.
Sad to say it has been noted that two sites a cup stone and a cup and ring stone on the North York Moors have unfortunately recently suffered damage. From the photos one can see that fragments have been chipped away from the stones fortunately the main motifs have been left intact. Oxidisation on the exposed surface indicates that the damage took place within the last few months! The fragments appear however to have been removed from site. We of course do not know the reasons behind the wanton damage perhaps they were removed as some sort of talisman, for a solstice event or perhaps someone believes that the stone has some mystic power linked to other such mindless rubbish – who knows?
The stones are mostly covered in vegetation and is not on a normal routeway, neither is its location widely known. We can only assume that whoever perpetrated the stupid deed must have been well aware of the location to target the spot! The site is of course a scheduled ancient monument and naturally protected by law.
English Heritage and the National Park Authority are keen to follow up any information given to them by members of the general public.
Regarding the vandalism of sites and monuments
Regrettably yet another rock has been vandalised this time in the Yorkshire Dales. It is a large cup marked slab that has now been defaced by someone using a sharp instrument. In this case the authorities have located the culprit since initials and a name had been carved into another rock nearby – obviously by the same implement. The perpetrator is known to one of the local farmers in the area.