11,000-year-old engraved pendant found in UK
An 11,000-year-old pendant made of shale has been discovered at the Star Carr archaeological site in North Yorkshire, United Kingdom.
Publishing in the journal Internet Archaeology, researchers from the University of York, University of Manchester and University of Chester note that its engravings make it the first of its kind found in Europe.
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According to a summary of the findings, "When archaeologists uncovered the pendant last year, the lines on the surface were barely visible. The research team used a range of digital microscopy techniques to generate high resolution images to help determine the style and order of engraving."
Star Carr sits on the site of a former lake from the Mesolithic era. The pendant was discovered in what are known as "lake edge deposits" and was initially believed to be just a piece of stone as the perforation was blocked and the engravings were mostly covered.
Professor Nicky Milner, of the Department of Archaeology at York, who led the research, said: "It is unlike anything we have found in Britain from this period. 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."
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