Middle Stone Age 'crayon' used to paint animal skin discovered in England

  |   Tech News

Archaeologists have discovered ancient crayon used by our ancestors nearly 10,000 years ago to apply colour to animal skins for artwork. Having discovered near Star Carr (what was once Lake Flixton now blanketed in peat), in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, the crayon is made of a red mineral pigment called ochre. It measures 22 millimetres (0.87 inches) long and 7 millimetres (0.28 inches) wide.

Lake Flixton in England is known to have filled up with artefacts from the Mesolithic period or Middle Stone Age (8000 to 2700 BC). Alongside the "crayon", another ochre pebble was also discovered at another site on the opposite side of the lake.

Dr Andy Needham, the lead author of the study at University of York's Department of Archaeology, said that the latest discoveries will help cumulate more data from Mesolithic life. He wrote: "The deep grooves lacking any apparent artistic design on the pebble suggest it was used to harvest red pigment powder. The sharp edges with striations in multiple directions might indicate the elongate shaped piece was used as a drawing and colouring tool, perhaps in a similar way to a contemporary pencil or crayon."

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