England

Royal Mail stamp set marks UK's prehistoric treasures

Stamps Image copyright Royal Mail

Some of the archaeological treasures of prehistoric Britain have been featured in a new set of eight stamps.

Issued by the Royal Mail, the stamps include illustrations of a headdress dug up in North Yorkshire and a bronze shield cover found in the River Thames.

The Neolithic village of Skara Brae in Orkney and the Avebury stone circles in Wiltshire also feature.

The stamps present a timeline from an ancient ritual of 11,000 years ago, to the Iron Age of around 300 BC.

Image copyright Royal Mail

Illustrated by London-based artist Rebecca Strickson, the stamps have been designed as overlay drawings, showing how people lived at the sites or used the objects.

For each of the stamps, Royal Mail will provide a special postmark on all mail posted in a postbox close to the site or where the artefact was found.


Featured items and places

  • Drumbest horns: Bronze horns thought to date back to about 800 BC, found in a bog in County Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • Grime's Graves: A Neolithic flint mine near Thetford, Norfolk, with the mined materials used to make blades
  • Maiden Castle: Situated near Dorchester, Dorset, it's considered the largest Iron Age hill fort in Britain
  • Mold Cape: A ceremonial gold cape dating back about 4,000 years, found in a grave in Mold, North Wales
  • Star Carr headdress: Found at the Mesolithic site of Star Carr, North Yorkshire, the deer skull headdress is thought to have been used during rituals
  • Skara Brae: A Neolithic village lying on the western coast of the Orkney mainland, thought to have been inhabited between 3100 BC and 2500 BC
  • Battersea Shield: Found in the River Thames, the bronze shield cover is believed to have been thrown in the river as an offering to the spirits
  • Avebury: Neolithic stone circles in Avebury, Wiltshire, one of the largest prehistoric sites in Britain

Philip Parker, stamp strategy manager at the Royal Mail, said: "The UK has an incredibly rich heritage of prehistoric sites and exceptional artefacts.

"These new stamps explore some of these treasures and give us a glimpse of everyday life in prehistoric Great Britain and Northern Ireland, from the culture of ancient ritual and music making to sophisticated metalworking and the building of huge hill forts."

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