Skip main navigation

Introduction to plants

This week we learn all about plants and just how important they must have been for Mesolithic people. Watch Professor Nicky Milner explain more.
4.1
Digging at Star Carr has been an amazing experience. When you dig into peat, the preservation is so incredible that small twigs, leaves and moss survive. The wood still has its bark intact, and it looks like it has just fallen off a tree…it is hard to believe that it is actually 11,000 years old. So this week is all about plants because having this extraordinary survival of plant material in the ground gives us a very rare and important glimpse into this past world. Most of our evidence comes from wood - for instance, we have uncovered the earliest evidence of carpentry in Europe, and the remains of the oldest known house in Britain.
45.7
In addition we have unearthed tools which are incredibly rare such as a bow and digging sticks. But before we look at some of these amazing finds we are going to examine fungus - technically not a plant, but they grow on trees and helped to generate one of the most important technologies known to humankind - fire!

Welcome back to another week of learning.

Plants were important in so many different ways to Mesolithic people – from food, to making tools to creating shelters.

This week we will learn about how plants were utilised at Star Carr.

This article is from the free online

Exploring Stone Age Archaeology: The Mysteries of Star Carr

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education