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STAR CARR EARLY MESOLITHIC SETTLEMENT SITE

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The buried remains of an Early Mesolithic settlement site on the edge of a former lake at Star Carr. The site was identified by John Moore in 1947 and partially excavated in 1949-51. Further archaeological excavations in the 1980s and the 2000s have demonstrated in situ evidence of built structures. During the Mesolithic period the monument site was a peninsula of dry land that extended southwards into Lake Flixton, a former lake of nearly 5km by 2km. This peninsula can now be seen as a rise in the ground surface. Radiocarbon dating and archaeological evidence indicates that the site was occupied on a seasonal basis intermittently over about a couple of centuries around 9,000BC.

Excavations in the 1980s found parts of a timber platform with evidence of carpentry using stone tools, representing the earliest known example of carpentry in Europe. In 2008 a further structure 5-6 metres in diameter was identified, which was defined by scatters of flintwork and a hollow surrounded by post settings. It has been interpreted as a hut and is sited on higher ground than the platform on the western side of the peninsula. Discovered during the 1949-51 excavations was a brushwood floor thought to overlay what would have been reedbeds. Artefacts found at the site include organic material not found at any other Mesolithic site in Britain, antler frontlets, barbed points made from antler, flints, microliths and plant remains. Peat drainage is having an adverse affect on the unexcavated organic remains which rely heavily on waterlogged soils for their preservation.

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Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.