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Clark’s amber beads

What evidence do we have for amber beads? In this article, Professor Nicky Milner outlines the initial discoveries by Clark
The perforated amber bead from Clark's excavations at Star Carr
© The Star Carr Project
In addition, three pieces of amber were found during Clark’s excavations, one of which was perforated twice but was also broken (the photograph above). Such finds are incredibly rare – in fact no other pieces of amber have been found on Mesolithic sites in Britain.

Pieces of amber can sometimes be found washed up on the east coast of Britain. Either it was found at the coast, or brought from coastlines further afield in what is now the North Sea, or perhaps even traded from Denmark or the Baltic where we find many more amber pendants in this period.

During our excavations we didn’t find any amber. It might be that the acidic conditions of the site had destroyed the amber, or that Clark had found the only pieces.

Further resources

You can look at a photograph of the other piece of amber on the Archaeology Data Service Star Carr Archives project by choosing “amber bead” under artefact type. Unfortunately the whereabouts of the third piece of amber is unknown.

© University of York
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Exploring Stone Age Archaeology: The Mysteries of Star Carr

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