Star Carr: Facts About the Mesolithic Settlement

Here are some facts about Star Carr.

  • Star Carr is an important Mesolithic archaeological site in the county of Yorkshire, England. It is located in the Vale of Pickering, about 8km south of the seaside resort of Scarborough.

  • The site was discovered in 1947 by John Moore. Moore was an amateur archaeologist who noticed some flints in the ground in a ditch that had been dug for drainage.
  • The site was first excavated in 1949 by a team from Cambridge University. Excavations continued during the 1980s through to the present day, and excavations have also taken place at nearby Lake Flixton.
  • Some rare artifacts made from amber and carved wood have been discovered at Star Carr. Today, many of these items can be seen in UK museums, including the British Museum in London.
  • The waterlogged soil in the area contains peat, which has helped to preserve many objects found at Star Carr. However, draining of the land over the years may have damaged some of the valuable remains.
  • Archaeologists estimate that Star Carr was founded in about 8770 BC and was occupied until about 8460 BC. The Mesolithic period saw the introduction of stone tools, agriculture and domesticated animals.
  • The remains of 21 headdresses made of red deer antler have been found at Starr Carr. Archaeologists think they may have been used as disguises when hunting, or in rituals.
  • Evidence of several homes have been found at Star Carr. The inhabitants probably used turf, thatch or bark for the walls, and covered the floors in plants, moss or reeds.
  • A large wooden platform has been discovered near the site, which is the oldest example of carpentry in Europe. It was made using the timber from willow and aspen trees which surrounded the settlement.
  • The discoveries at Star Carr are similar to those made at Maglemose in Denmark. Back then, sea levels were much lower and Britain and Scandinavia were joined together.
  • The Star Carr site has been labelled a Scheduled Monument for its rarity and archaeological importance.