Rudolph the ancient reindeer: The 14,000-years-old cave art found in Wales
Last updated at 8:52 AM on 26th July 2011
Britain's oldest cave art has been found – on a rock deep underground in Wales.
The faint scratchings of a reindeer with a spear in its neck date back 14,000 years. The cave art, nicknamed Rudolph by archaeologists, was carved by a hunter-gatherer in the Ice Age.
Experts were yesterday studying the discovery at a secret location on the Gower Peninsula, near Swansea.
Ancient: Experts were studying the discovery at a secret location on the Gower Peninsula, near Swansea (pictured)
It was discovered by ‘pure chance’ by archaeologist Dr George Nash, who has been visiting the cave complex for more than 20 years.
He said: ‘It was a strange moment of being in the right place at the right time with the right kit.
‘I’ve been taking students there for 20-odd years talking about what was going on there.
‘On this particular day they all went back to the bus but I decided to stay behind and have a snoop around in the cave.
Rock art: Cave paintings - similar to these ones pictured in India - were discovered
‘Within a couple of minutes I was scrubbing at the back of a very strange and awkward recess.
‘Then a very faint image bounced in front of me – I couldn’t believe my eyes.
‘It was a once-in-a life time experience – lots of archaeologists get to study rock art but very few find any.’
Experts are also studying other marks etched into the rock below the speared reindeer.
Dr Nash, associate professor at the University of Tomar in Portugal, said of the artwork: ‘This drawing was done with the right hand by somebody using a piece of flint who has drawn a classic reindeer design.
‘It is very, very exciting.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2018794/The-14-000-year-old-reindeer-cave-art-Wales.html#ixzz1TDDeKMSJ