Star Carr Headdress Celebrated as Part of Royal Mail 'Ancient Britain' Special Stamps

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Star Carr Headdress Celebrated as Part of Royal Mail ‘Ancient Britain’ Special Stamps

17 January 2017

Royal Mail today announced the release of eight stamps featuring some of the most inspiring objects and atmospheric sites of UK prehistory.

The set includes the Star Carr headdress found at the mesolithic site at Seamar near Scarborough.

The stamps explore how people lived in prehistoric times and depict famous iconic sites as well as some of the most exceptional artefacts from around the UK.

Illustrated by London-based artist Rebecca Strickson, the stamps have been designed as overlay illustrations, detailing how people lived and worked at these sites and used the objects.

The stamps present a timeline of prehistory, from a glimpse of ancient ritual of 11,000 years ago, to the Iron Age of around 300 BC. They indicate a huge degree of organisation in ambitious building projects, and sophistication in exquisite metal working.

For each of the stamps, Royal Mail will provide a special postmark on all mail posted in a postbox close to where the site is located or the artefact found. It will be applied for five days from 17-21 January, 2017.

To obtain the special handstamp, customers should post at the postbox at Seamar Post Office. The handstamp will only be applied between January 17-21.

Philip Parker, Stamp Strategy Manager, Royal Mail, said;

“The UK has an incredibly rich heritage of prehistoric sites and exceptional artefacts. These new stamps explore some of these treasures and give us a glimpse of everyday life in prehistoric Britain, from the culture of ancient ritual and music making to sophisticated metalworking and the building of huge hill forts.”

The stamps are available from 17 January 2017, at 7,000 Post Office branches across the UK and at

The Star Carr Headdress

Excavations over the last 70 years have revealed three brushwood and timber platforms along the edge of what was once Lake Flixton, as well as evidence of houses on drier ground away from the shore. Among the rich collection of worked stone, flint, bone, antler and wood were more than 30 frontlets of red deer.

All had been extensively worked, with the antlers trimmed, and some had holes cut through the skull. These strange items were probably masks or some kind of headdresses. They may have been used as a disguise in hunting or during ritual performances in which people took the place of an animal.

It is likely that the original skin formed part of the attire, which may have been worn by shamans when communicating with animal spirits.

The headdress can be seen in the Yorkshire Museum’s Spotlight exhibition ‘Ritual or Disguise: The Star Carr Headdresses‘ which opened 14 January 2017 – click here to find out more.


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