2. Background to the Site

Star Carr is one of a number of Early Mesolithic sites that have been recorded around palaeo-Lake Flixton, in the eastern Vale of Pickering, North Yorkshire, UK (Figure 3). The palaeo-lake formed at the start of the Windermere Interstadial (c. 12,700-10,800 cal BC), a warm phase at the end of the last Ice Age, and it persisted as a water body until the end of the Mesolithic (c. 4000 cal BC).

Figure 3
Figure 3: Location map of Star Carr: Star Carr was found on what would have been the edge of a lake, now known as palaeo-Lake Flixton

John Moore, a local amateur archaeologist, first carried out investigations in the area from 1947 (Clark 1954, xvii) and identified 10 sites around the lake. Moore excavated a trench at Star Carr in 1948, and from 1949-1951 Grahame Clark from the University of Cambridge conducted three further seasons of fieldwork (Clark 1954). Further work in the area has been carried out since the 1980s by the Vale of Pickering Research Trust in order to map the extent of the lake and discover further sites (Milner et al. 2011). Since 2004, NM, CC and BT have been co-directing excavations at Star Carr (Conneller et al. 2012; Milner et al. 2013b). In 2012 the POSTGLACIAL project commenced: this is a five year, European Research Council funded project aiming 'To implement an interdisciplinary, high-resolution approach to understanding hunter-gatherer lifeways within the context of climate and environment change during the early part of the post-glacial period (c. 10,000-8000 BC)'. In order to address this aim, excavations have been carried out at Star Carr over three seasons from 2013-2015.