The University of York Archaeology project has won the 2016 British Archaeological Award for its research into an extremely rare engraved Mesolithic pendant.
The 11,000 year old pendant was discovered during an excavation at Star Carr in North Yorkshire and is the oldest known Mesolithic art in Britain and only pendant of its type in Europe. Mesolithic refers to the period between around 9,600 to 5000 B.C. Measuring only 31mm by 35mm, there are depictions on the pendant that are believed to be a tree, a map, a leaf or tally marks.
The awards evening was held at the British Museum on 11 July and was hosted by celebrity archaeologist Julian Richards, host of the TV series ‘Meet the Ancestors.’
Established in 1976, the Awards take place every two years and now have five categories with York winning the Best Archaeological Innovation Award.
Professor Nicky Milner, Deputy Head of York’s Department of Archaeology, who led the project said: “The Star Carr team are delighted to receive such a prestigious award.
“It is great recognition for the huge amount of research that everyone spent in the analysis of the pendant, and the innovative techniques that were tested. These have also generated much public interest which has been very pleasing.”
Andrew Davidson, Chair of the British Archaeological Awards judging panel for the Best Archaeological Innovation Award, commented that “The judges were impressed with the way in which the different scanning methods of the Star Carr Shale Pendant were carried through to full publication for the Postglacial project.
“The choice of an open–access journal and website to publicise the results has ensured wide public access, and the provision of a comprehensive suite of online tools to examine the object, encourages the reader to understand and re-interpret the findings.”