Posted 29th Feb 2016
A piece of 11,000-year-old shale jewellery, believed to have been worn by a shaman, has been found
The item is the earliest known piece of art from the Mesolithic era to be found in Britain. Patterns were used to ward off evil spirits through the use of shaman magic, as ancients believed the world was full of invisible forces and spirits which could be controlled and channelled by shamans. This theory has been backed up by the discovery of shaman headdresses in nearby locations.
The Mesolithic period dates back to just after the end of the Ice Age, roughly 11,600 years ago, to the beginning of the Neolithic period, which was around 4,000 BC.
Made from a single piece of shale, the pendant is engraved with lines that are believed could represent a number of things, from a tree, a map or even tally marks.
Found in North Yorkshire in 2015, it is the only engraved pendant from that era to have been found in the whole of Europe.
Image courtesy of nationalpictures.co.uk