It belongs to the early Mesolithic Maglemosianculture, evidence for which is present across the lowlands of Northern Europe, and was occupied around 8700 BC, for over 300 years. It was discovered in 1947 during the clearing of a field drain.
Star Carr's main feature is a brushwood platform which stood on the edge of a former lake. The platform would have been laid down to consolidate the boggy water's edge. Hearths found further away from the water indicate temporary settlement. It was visited seasonally by Mesolithic hunters chasing red and roe deer, elk, aurochs and wild boar. Analysis of the animal bone indicates that the site was occupied between spring and autumn. The mud of the lake has preserved items dropped into it and the hunter's tools such as flint scrapers used to clean animal skins and worked bone and antler have been found. The most striking examples are 54 barbed points made from red deer antler. A fragment of a wooden oar implies that the people who occupied the site also built boats, probably coracles or simple canoes. Beads made from stone and amber suggest personal adornment. Remains of a dog are indication of the animal's domestication during this period
The flint came from the Yorkshire Wolds further south. A type of axe, new to Britain, was made from it at Star Carr. It was sharpened during its life by simple transverse blows which made it more adaptable.
The most famous find is the top part of a stag skull, complete with antlers. The skull had two holes perforated in it and it has been suggested that it was used as a hunting disguise, or in some form of ritual.
Department of Archaeology, University of Cambridge (http://www.arch.cam.ac.uk/projects/starrcarr.html)
StarCarr and the early postglacial occupation of the Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire.
The current phase of investigations at StarCarr is intended to place the site within the wider context of later Upper Palaeolithic and early Mesolithic occupation of the former Lake Pickering, in association with the work of the Vale of Pickering Research Trust.
StarCarr in context: new archaeological and palaeoenvironmental investigations in the Vale of Pickering.
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