In this age of smartphones where taking selfies has become a huge craze, news of what could possibly be Britain's first selfie — snapped up 4,000 years ago — may come as a massive surprise.
Amateur archaeologist, Gordon Holmes from Shipley, stumbled upon Yorkshire's first selfies which is etched on a 4,000-year-old stone found in Baildon Moor.
Holmes believes that the carving on the rock is an image of the artist himself.
"'I realised that I was looking at a Stone Age selfie," he shared.
The carving shows off a stick figure and Holmes believes that this is the artist seated or standing, with the landscape in the backdrop or possibly near a fire. Above the head is something which resembles a speech bubble, which shows off the W-shaped star Cassiopeia over his head.
The entire depiction suggests that the artist has etched his selfie on a stone.
"I know there could be earlier interpretations of selfies, such as those drawn in hieroglyphics by the Ancient Egyptians, but this stone carving selfie on Baildon Moor may well be the earliest example in Yorkshire," noted the archaeologist.
An Engaging History
Yorkshire is home to an array of undiscovered symbols and inscriptions carved on rock surfaces that reveal mysterious facts about ancient civilizations. This is not the first time that 64-year-old Holmes has stumbled upon and been fascinated by such a piece of ancient history that draws one in.
As a child, Holmes reveals that his father inculcated the interest in inscriptions and carvings in him, while traversing to district moorlands. The journey that started at age 12 has continued ever since.
A retired IT technician and design engineer, Holmes has devoted his life observing ancient carvings that have survived the trials of time.
According to archaeological surveys, there are several ring and cup stones in the vicinity of the moors. The inscriptions and drawings engraved into the millstone grit reveal interesting facts.
Other moors like Ilkley, Harden, Bingley, and Rivock Edge are some of the other carvings that have an astronomical importance. These five appear to be similar to each other in a particular style, sort of like writing.
Holmes became determined to search for the markings as his father had once told him that not many were aware of these aspects. An enthusiastic and passionate historian, Gordon delved into this mystery to learn more. He gradually deciphered that the carvings were actually portraying the Pole Star, Hyades, Cassiopeia, and Pleiades.
The archaeologist is uncertain about the creator of these carvings, but feels that they could all be tied to the same artist.