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Stone Age settlement site found at quarry in Yorkshire, UK

Published by , Deputy Editor
World Cement,

These rare findings have come about through a 10-year long collaboration between Tarmac (owners of the quarry) and Archaeology Research Services Ltd (ARS), which has seen extensive archaeological survey and excavation work undertaken at the site prior to the quarry commencing operations.

Stone Age settlement site found at quarry in Yorkshire, UK

The remains are believed to be from the Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, which date from 12 000 and 6000 years old respectively. Made from two Y-shaped poles approximately 2.5 m – 3 m in length and constructed in an A-frame shape, the remains are believed to be part of a structure that was built on the edge of a pond, and are thought to have been used as a temporary encampment during the drier summer months.

Another structure located at a lower level, radiocarbon dated to approximately 10 000 years ago, was formed by 6 m – 7 m long poles that appear to have been used to make a cone-shaped structure. This would have been covered with reed thatch, hides or other forms of covering, similar to a tepee, and has the remains of its last fire still present. The wood from these structures is well preserved, having lain in peat without oxygen for thousands of years. Evidence for the trimming of the poles can be seen, as well as marks made by stone axe heads used to ready the timbers.

Alan Coe, Production Manager for North Yorkshire at Tarmac’s Killerby Quarry said “We’re very excited with this latest finding from Killerby. It’s extremely important that items of historic interest are catalogued and thoroughly researched during our preparatory work so that they can be recorded and the information can be shared with the public. Without this work being carried out at the quarry, findings such as these would never have seen the light of day.”

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