Prof Nicky Milner of the University of York will present RecentMesolithic Discoveries in North-east England, details of the Star Carr Project research design and the latest discoveries from Flixton Island in the Vale of Pickering after a successful excavation season this year.
Star Carr is an internationally important Early Mesolithic site near Flixton, Scarborough, North Yorkshire. The site was first discovered and excavated from 1948-1952, producing a staggering array of rare and important artefacts, the quantity and quality of which have not been matched since in Europe. Recent excavations revealed further important evidence: the discovery of a structure gained global media coverage as the ‘oldest house in Britain’; and a 30m wooden platform represents the earliest evidence of systematic carpentry in Europe. This talk will highlight the discoveries made in both the past and present research projects, and will outline the aspirations for the coming years.
The lecture is hosted by Teesside Archaeological Society at Stockton-on-Tees Central Library TS18 1TU (NE England). Guests are welcome for £3 each on the door. Refreshments are available afterwards. For directions and more information read the latest TAS newsletter.
This is also a chance to purchase The Story of Star Carr booklet after the lecture for £2.50. Proceeds contribute to ongoing research, fieldwork and post-excavation finds conservation. Find out more about Star Carr | www.starcarr.com
Love the rich, distinctive heritage of north-east England
Crimdon Dene beck towards the sea | Creative Commons 2.0 License
School kids have come across human skeletal remains revealed by coastal erosion at Crimdon Dene near Hartlepool, north-east England. As a crouched burial, assuming it is a burial, could it be prehistoric? Bronze Age? Or even older? Evidence for Mesolithic burial in the UK, for example, is virtually non-existent outside Somerset and the odd finger in Scottish shell middens, unlike Denmark and Scandinavia.
There are some challenges too. How do you investigate such a find in a highly unstable environment like sand dunes? I’m sure there’s more news to follow from Tees Archaeology. Crimdon Dene¹ is also known for extensive Mesolithic flint scatters discovered in the 1940s. Filpoke Beacon², 1.25km north, produced one of the earliest Late Mesolithic radiocarbon dates for geometric narrow blade microliths: 8760 +/- 140 BP³ (Q-1474) based on carbonized hazelnut shells. A submerged forest sits off the coast south of Hartlepool and has revealed Late Mesolithic and Neolithic evidence including flints and a possible fish weir (see Tees Archaeology’s monograph).
Bronze Age burials, albeit in stone cists, were discovered in the vicinity of the Mesolithic house at Howick, Northumberland Coast. I know where my money’s going—but dreams at least are free!
¹ Young, R. 2007. ‘I must go down to the sea again…’ A Review of Early Research on the ‘Coastal’ Mesolithic of North-East England, in Waddington, C. & Pedersen, K (eds). Mesolithic Studies in the North Sea Basin and Beyond. Oxford: Oxbow. ² Jacobi, R. 1976. Britain Inside and Outside Mesolithic Europe. Proc Preh Soc 42: 67-84. ³ Before Present (1950), hazelnut shells are more reliable for aging than timber because they are shorter lived—”old wood” can itself be hundreds of years old before burning.