Online course in History

Exploring Stone Age Archaeology: The Mysteries of Star Carr

Discover Star Carr, one of the world's most important archaeological sites, and learn what life was like over 10,000 years ago.

Exploring Stone Age Archaeology: The Mysteries of Star Carr

  • Duration 4 weeks
  • Weekly study 4 hours

Learn about the incredible discoveries at Star Carr

Star Carr is one of Britain’s most important archaeological sites. Because of extraordinary conditions of survival, we have uncovered the oldest known house in Britain, the earliest evidence of carpentry in Europe and the oldest complete bow in the world. These and other discoveries help us interpret what life might have been like over 10,000 years ago.

On this course you will learn about the excavations of Star Carr, exploring what this site can tell us about where we came from, the origin of everyday things, and how much we have changed.

Download video: standard or HD

What topics will you cover?

  • The excavations at Star Carr: highlighting how the site was discovered, what has been found and how excavations are undertaken, in order to convey the excitement of discovery.
  • The use of stone: how hunter-gatherers used stone to create tools which were required for every aspect of their daily lives (their Swiss Army knife!)
  • The use of plants: plants were used for everything from making fires to building houses.
  • The use of animals: we explain what animals were in the landscape at that time and how people used them for food, skins for clothing and their bones for artefacts.

When would you like to start?

  • Date to be announced
Add to Wishlist to be emailed when new dates are announced

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you'll be able to...

  • Identify and understand the methods used on an archaeological excavation
  • Evaluate how digital technology, scientific applications and experimental archaeology can be used to investigate the past
  • Apply a range of evidence in order to debate how different artefacts might have been used
  • Describe the site of Star Carr and the main discoveries made there

Who is the course for?

The course is for anyone with an interest in the past and archaeology, and particularly for people with no previous archaeological background who may be considering higher education study.

Who will you learn with?

Nicky Milner

Nicky Milner

I'm Professor Nicky Milner, Head of Archaeology at the University of York. I'm a field archaeologist and an expert in the Mesolithic period.

Andy Needham

Andy Needham

I am an Associate Lecturer in Palaeolithic Archaeology. I worked at Star Carr in the most recent round of excavations and completed some of the analysis for the beads and pendants from the site.

Andy Langley

Andy Langley

Hi, I'm Andy Langley. I'm a postgraduate student at the University of York and I specialise in the Mesolithic and Experimental Archaeology. I'm particularly interested in flintknapping and adhesives.

Who developed the course?

The University of York combines the pursuit of academic excellence with a culture of inclusion, which encourages everyone – from a variety of backgrounds – to achieve their best.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: