11,000-year-old pendant with etched design found in England | Science News

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11,000-year-old pendant with etched design found in England

Shale artifact is one of Britain’s oldest known pieces of art

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11:28am, February 26, 2016
pendant

ENGRAVED SAVE  An etched design on an 11,000-year-old pendant discovered last year is one of the oldest examples of art in England. The pendant might have belonged to a shaman, researchers say.

One of England’s oldest artworks turned up last year on a tiny piece of stone.

An engraved shale pendant unearthed at Star Carr, a site under excavation since 1947, dates to around 11,000 years ago, a time when Britons were transitioning from foragers to farmers, researchers report online February 25 in Internet Archaeology. The pendant, roughly the size and shape of a guitar pick, includes a carefully fashioned hole through which it may have been strung, say archaeologist Nicky Milner of the University of York and her colleagues.

Many of the pendant’s etched lines are now barely visible. Microscopic analyses determined that the engraved pattern — which includes clusters of short lines connected to long lines — resembles etched designs on amber pendants from around the same time and found in Denmark, southern Sweden and northern Germany.

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