Mesolithic Markings


May/June 2016

Trenches England PendantAn 11,000-year-old shale pendant engraved with an enigmatic network of lines has been discovered at Star Carr in North Yorkshire, England. The Mesolithic site was among the first in the British Isles to have been permanently settled after the end of the last Ice Age, during which Britain was likely depopulated. The engravings are similar to those found on amber pendants from the same period in Denmark, which was then accessible by land from Britain. Researchers believe the engravings may depict a tree, a map, a leaf, or tally marks. “Personally, I’m happiest with the idea that they’re counting something,” says Nicky Milner of the University of York, “but it’s impossible to say.”