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‘Stone me! Ilkley's ancient rocks are star maps’
An amateur scientist believes he has finally found proof that ancient rock carvings on Rombalds Moor are “Stone Age star maps”.
Gordon Holmes believes he has uncovered five of the finest examples of primitive maps of the night sky – all carved into stones on the moor.
Mr Holmes, of Shipley, has been fascinated by the carved cup and ring stones on Rombalds Moor for decades, and is confident that he may have discovered the meaning of mysterious symbols dating back thousands of years.
He found similarities some time ago between a number of rock carvings and the shape of star constellations in the night sky.
But now he claims to have found his “Rosetta Stone” – clinching proof of his theory.
Mr Holmes, who sparked archaeological investigations in 2005 after coming across a possibly unrecognised ancient stone circle, previously documented stone carvings appearing to show the Pole Star, Cassiopeia, Hyades and Pleiades.
A fifth stone he recently has studied on Baildon Moor, however, shed much light on the carvings.
He said: “With a sudden burst of inspiration, I was able to decode this last example. The pattern shows a human sat by a fireplace – or a symbol of child birth – surrounded by the habitation and finally a link to the night sky, showing a star constellation.”
The carvings represent the view of the night sky as it was 4,000 years ago, he believes.
Mr Holmes said: “It is the missing piece, the Rosetta stone to decoding the other four cup and ring star maps found on Baildon Moor. At last this is the final proof to my theory that certain carved rocks on Baildon Moor correlate to the stars.” He has gone as far as to speculate that several of the ancient carvings could even have been produced by one person.
But the star map theory does not provide the key to deciphering all the stone carvings on Rombalds Moor.
Mr Holmes says he has not uncovered any other star maps elsewhere in the landscape.