• University of York

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
  • Duration4 weeks
  • Weekly study4 hours
  • LearnFree
  • Extra BenefitsFrom $54Find out more

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.

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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?

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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

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

I am a British Academy research fellow working on Mesolithic archaeology. I worked at Star Carr (2007-15) where I analysed some of the beads and pendants and carried out some of the geochemistry.

Becky Knight

I am a Zooarchaeology & Human Osteology technician. I have been involved with Star Carr since 2007 & I analysed all of the animal bone assemblages from the excavations (2007-2015).

Donald Henson

I am an archaeologist who began as a flint tool specialist before moving into public engagement with heritage. My PhD was in how we communicate the Mesolithic and its lessons for us today.

Steph Piper

I am an Associate Lecturer in Archaeology at the University of York. I specialise in stone tool analysis and Mesolithic archaeology, and have excavated at several Mesolithic sites in Britain.

Who developed the course?

University of York

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.

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