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    Star Carr

    Star Carr is one of the most important Mesolithic sites in Europe. Discovered in the late 1940s by John Moore, and then excavated by Grahame Clark from 1949-1951, it became famous in the archaeological world for the wealth of rare organic remains uncovered including barbed antler points and antler headdresses. However, since the original excavations there has been much debate about how the site was used: was it a residential base camp, a hunting camp or even a ritual site?

    From 2003-2015, excavations directed by Conneller, Milner and Taylor aimed to answer these questions. This work demonstrated that the site is much larger and more complex than ever imagined and was in use for around 800 years. Mesolithic groups were highly invested in this place: there is evidence for a number of structures on the dryland (the oldest evidence for ‘houses’ in Britain), three large wooden platforms along the edge of the lake, and the deposition of rare artefacts into the lake edge, including more antler headdresses and a unique, engraved shale pendant. People continued to occupy the site despite changes in climate over this period.

    Volume 1

    This first volume of the Star Carr work provides an interpretation of the Star Carr site, one of the most important Mesolithic sites in Europe. Discovered in the late 1940s, the site is famous in the archaeological world for the wealth of rare organic remains uncovered. The 2003-2015 excavations directed by Conneller, Milner and Taylor aimed to answer questions about how the site was used. Much larger and more complex than ever imagined, the Star Carr site was in use for around 800 years. The excavations show that Mesolithic groups were highly invested in this place and continued to occupy the site despite changes in climate over this period. The findings include the oldest evidence for ‘houses’ in Britain, three large wooden platforms along the edge of the lake, antler headdresses and a unique, engraved shale pendant which represents the earliest form of Mesolithic art in Britain.

    The artefactual material provides new insights into Mesolithic life. Significant wooden artefacts were found which greatly enhances our understanding of how important wood (a material rarely recovered) was for Mesolithic people. In the analysis of other findings it is possible to see evidence for activity areas, such as crafts and tool repair associated with structures, an axe factory, as well as a number of caches. New finds of antler frontlets have increased our understanding of the diversity of human interactions with animals. Overall, despite the degradation, these excavations have provided a new understanding of life in the Early Mesolithic that challenges many of the preconceived views of this period in terms of the character and scale of activity and the degree of investment in a particular place in the landscape.

    Read online or download Volume 1 now, or order a print copy.

    Volume 2

    The second volume of Star Carr provides detail on specific areas of research around the Star Carr site, one of the most important Mesolithic sites in Europe. Discovered in the late 1940s, the site is famous in the archaeological world for the wealth of rare organic remains uncovered. The 2003-2015 excavations directed by Conneller, Milner and Taylor aimed to answer questions about how the site was used. Much larger and more complex than ever imagined, the Star Carr site was in use for around 800 years. The excavations show that Mesolithic groups were highly invested in this place and continued to occupy the site despite changes in climate over this period. The findings include the oldest evidence for ‘houses’ in Britain, three large wooden platforms along the edge of the lake, antler headdresses and a unique, engraved shale pendant which represents the earliest form of Mesolithic art in Britain. 

    This volume looks in detail at focused areas of research, including wooden artefacts, the antler headdresses, structures, environmental and climate change data, plant and animal remains found at the site, and sediment data.

    Read online or download Volume 2 now, or order a print copy.


    Details on the print book ordering process (including how long it takes etc.) can be found on our website.