North York Moors Through the Mesolithic Period

In the North York Moors the earliest period with surviving evidence of human life and activity was the Mesolithic. The Mesolithic period is one that refers to the years between 9600 BC and 4000 BC, it means ‘Middle Stone Age‘ and came after the Palaeolithic period.

After the ice age the sea levels changed and that change was the most apparent to Britain as it cut us off from the rest of Europe and created the island of Britain as we know it, it was this era where the Mesolithic period began in the North York Moors. At around this

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Arrow heads on display at Whitby Museum

time the Mesolithics began inhabiting the North York Moors as we have found in relics including flint tools, arrows, and other hunting tools which were key to survival in the wilderness of the moors.

Around this time the wildlife in the moors was vast, making plenty of meals for the hunters, there was even elk wondering free throughout the open forests which made a good meal that could last days. But that’s not to say there were no predators to humans, or competition, long before we had the cull on wolves they roamed free on the moors and were high up on the food to chain alongside bears. But as we have seen in Star Carr, dogs had began to be domesticated and aided the Mesolithic people in their hunting and general life.

Star Carr, found just outside of Scarborough, has been noted as one of the most important finds in Mesolithic archaeology. There is evidence of timber platforms built around the lake, and even a building which is thought to be one of the earliest Mesolithic buildings known to date. There were many objects made from deer and elk antler and bone, even amber was found amongst the site.

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One of the relics found at Star Carr

The Mesolothic period came to an end around 4000 BC as farming developed and the new age known as the Neolithic began.

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