Mysterious “witch marks” that were carved into a cavern’s walls centuries ago to ward off evil are getting a public viewing, thanks to 3D modeling and animation.
The marks were discovered earlier this year in Creswell Crags, an enclosed limestone gorge in the United Kingdom that houses a cave used by humans during the Ice Age, Creswell Crags Museum & Heritage Centre representatives said in a statement. But humans were also using the cave during the medieval period, covering its walls and ceilings with so-called witch marks as a form of protection against evil spirits and witches.
During a tour in February, a team of cavers spied marks on the cavern walls that had previously gone unnoticed, or were dismissed as modern graffiti. Further investigation revealed hundreds of marks; carved emblems such as these were common in the medieval U.K., etched around doorways, windows and fireplaces to keep evil spirits out, site representatives said in the statement.
A chamber that held the most witch marks was inaccessible to the public, but site officials partnered with researchers at Sheffield Hallam University in South Yorkshire, England, to scan the marks and create a virtual tour of the remarkable sight, university representatives said.