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A replica shale pendant with lines scratched into the surface which show up as white
A replica pendant

Making a replica

Finally, we carried out some experiments and made a pendant out of shale, using a piece of flint to engrave it.

What we found was that when grooves are made initially, the lines might have been more visible as they appear much paler after they have first been scratched (as in the picture above). Therefore, perhaps the lines were not so invisible as they are today.

Making your own

It is worth having a go at making your own pendant because it gets you thinking about the formation of the lines and what they might represent.

You can try with a piece of shale and flint (though, as ever, please be very careful using sharp flint and take sensible precautions such as wearing gloves and keeping a first aid kit to hand).

Or you could try drawing or painting it, or you might like to make one out of clay, or even maybe a pendant cake!

If may also have had a go at printing your own 3D pendant if you have the facilities.

Whatever method you choose, we would love to see your efforts! Please upload them onto Padlet.

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Exploring Stone Age Archaeology: The Mysteries of Star Carr

University of York

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