York & North Yorkshire

Yorkshire Stone Age pendant goes on display

Mesolithic pendant Image copyright Yorkshire Museum
Image caption The pendant was discovered during an archaeological dig at Star Carr, near Scarborough

An 11,000-year-old Stone Age pendant discovered in North Yorkshire is to go on display at a museum in the county.

The piece of shale measures 31mm by 35mm and features a series of lines engraved on its surface.

The Yorkshire Museum, in York, claimed it was "the earliest known Mesolithic art in Britain."

The pendant was discovered during an archaeological dig at Star Carr, near Scarborough, in 2015.

It was studied by research teams from the Universities of York, Manchester and Chester.

Professor Nicky Milner, of the Department of Archaeology at York University, said it was possible the pendant was used for "spiritual personal protection".

"It was incredibly exciting to discover such a rare object. It is unlike anything we have found in Britain from this period," she said.

"We can only imagine who owned it, how they wore it and what the engravings actually meant to them.

"One possibility is that the pendant belonged to a shaman. Headdresses made out of red deer antlers found nearby in earlier excavations are thought to have been worn by shamans."

The exhibition runs until 5 May and will also feature other Star Carr finds including flints, a barbed point used for hunting or fishing and 11,000-year-old fire lighters.

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