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Sunday, 2 May 2010

Strange marks at Carn Enoch



Further to my recent entry about polishing stones -- with the pic of the one on Fyfield Down -- I came across this photo in my archive of the strange grooves cut along a crack in the dolerite tor of Carn Enoch, not far from Dinas, Pembs. The grooves are clearly man-made -- but are they some sort of script? Something ornamental, done by some distant ancestor just to pass the time of day? Or are they "sharpening grooves" on a rock surface used for smoothing stone axes and improving their cutting edges?

I sent this photo ages ago to the Dyfed Archaeological Trust with a request for enlightenment, but they never bothered to reply.......

Addendum: just discovered that my friend Robin Heath thinks these marks are prehistoric "tally marks" used for recording the number of days in a year. Maybe there are 365 notches or grooves? Must go back and count them one day.

3 comments:

Kostas said...

Brian, very interesting picture! What is the scale to these markings? Is the horizontal cut across these in the middle man made too? What in your opinion identifies these as man made and not nature made? How high is this cliff? Is it vertical or more flat? Is there an easy access to these markings?

Constantinos

Brian said...

Each groove is between 10 and 20 cm long, cut at right angles to the long crack in the rock. The long crack is natural. the grooves have been cut on a gently sloping rock surface, easily accessible, at the back of a (Bronze Age?) hut site. The nartural rock surface and the slope of Carn Enoch gives shelter from the west and north, and there was a low wall made of boulders on the downslope or lee side. Can't tell whether there was ever a roof over this structure, or whether it was open to the elements. I have a hunch that there might have been a low roof maybe supported by a couple of wooden pillars and a lattice of branches. So the person who did this might have been reclining in his living room, chipping away at the rock surface, while he waited for the weather to improve!

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting Brian. I was just posting on an archaeological forum about potential solar calendars and who one would need grooves to mark the progress of the sun. When I remembered seeing grooves on a stone at Stonehenge.

I was searching and came across yours.

You can get the idea on this article: http://mons-graupius.co.uk/index.php/archaeology/75-stonehenge-the-calendar

So, I'd be interested to know if the stone were facing west/east and whether it could have had the rising/setting sun's shadow fall on it.