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Archaeology & History

10,000-year-old crayon unearthed in England

By T.K. Randall
January 28, 2018 · Comment icon 7 comments



The crayon doesn't look much like today's crayons. Image Credit: Paul Shields / University of York
Archaeologists have discovered a red crayon that would have once been used to color animal skins.
The crayon, which is made of a red mineral pigment called ochre, was found at Star Carr - an important Mesolithic archaeological site situated near Scarborough, North Yorkshire.

A second ochre pebble was also found at a separate site in the same area.

"The deep grooves lacking any apparent artistic design on the pebble suggest it was used to harvest red pigment powder," wrote study lead author Dr Andy Needham from the University of York.
"The sharp edges with striations in multiple directions might indicate the elongate shaped piece was used as a drawing and coloring tool, perhaps in a similar way to a contemporary pencil or crayon."

Prehistoric hunter-gatherers across the world are known to have collected ochre for various artistic purposes during the Middle Stone Age.

"I was really amazed by how small and delicate the piece is," said Dr Needham.

"Imagine the odds of recovering an object this small and delicate after it has been buried in the ground for around 10,000 years ?"

Source: Phys.org | Comments (7)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Piney 5 years ago
Beat me to it! 
Comment icon #2 Posted by Piney 5 years ago
Another article https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/01/180126095323.htm
Comment icon #3 Posted by Eldorado 5 years ago
This has me wondering if the crayon has ever seen inside the nose of a prehistoric toddler.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Black Monk 5 years ago
Star Carr is where Mesolithic antler headdresses, probably used for religious purposes, have been found. What language or languages the inhabitants of Britain spoke then is a mystery.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Saru 5 years ago
Due to an error, the provided source link for this story on the home page has now been updated.
Comment icon #6 Posted by hetrodoxly 5 years ago
Abbots Bromley horn dance, the oldest datable dance in the world the Horns kept in the church have been dated around 1100 and are probably replacements for earlier horns kept on the pre christian pagan site.  
Comment icon #7 Posted by TripGun 5 years ago
Found in the stomach of a 10,000 year old school kid.


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