If we cast a line due east of Star Carr, and cast it far out over the sea to reach land we find that there are other Mesolithic sites within our reach. Bedburg Koenigshoven is an early Mesolithic site with evidence of modified deer skulls in the shape of fronlet headdresses similar to the horde of Star Carr. Further East and North is the site of Hohen Viecheln in Mecklenburg situated on the shores of Lake Schwerin. Again, a worked antler skull almost identical to those of our Star Carr dig has been unearthed. Both Star Carr and Hohen Viechlen lie very close to 54 degree latitude.
If we turn our attention a bit further north to Denmark, we find the most amazing find that gives us more clues. In 1891 the small Raevemose peat bog near Gundestrup offered up the sections of an elaborately designed silver vessel. Once assembled what was to become known as the Gundestrup Cauldron took pride of place in Celtic iconography. The images portrayed on the base and sides of the cauldron depict interactions between men, women and the animal world. Perhaps the most important one for us here is the dominant image of a Shaman wearing an antler head dress or perhaps he has antlers emerging from his own skull.
In his left hand he holds a serpent or snake. In his right hand he holds a large torc. He is flanked on either side by what could be a dog, a wolf, a giant rat, a bull or auroch and a stag.
At first glance the decoration between the figures might seem to be for aesthetic purposes but on closer inspection it is, in my mind, depicting a plasma type of energy. This energy connects the figure with the snake but is at its most intense around the antlers of stag and human. All are connected in this field of energy which seems to be induced and conducted by the trance of the Shaman.
Perhaps Star Carr, Hohen Viecheln and Gundestrup are seasonal stopping points on the same great migratory route of the deer. Imagine the mesolithic red deer, the roe and the elk following the course of a broad band of energy, a ley line that led them into the Western fertile grounds of Doggerland and to the banks of Lake Pickering. And the animal’s human relations would follow them along this course pausing at megalithic structures that marked even more powerful pools of energy until reaching the great power point needle of Rudston they knew they were within a short distance of the lake. Perhaps Star Carr was the end point of the year long journey.
What’s to stop us considering that once in the vicinity of Rudston the ‘shamen of Doggerland’ would hold a large end of journey ritual in veneration of the deer. A sombre celebration of survival and loss. Dance and trance would transport the ‘special individuals’ as hybrid stags, animal spirits and to use Paul Sinclair’s term ‘intelligent light forms’ across time and space. A different kind off epic journey, freed from the land. A journey of divination to visit ancestors in what we would call their ‘past’ and forward in time to our world and beyond to what we would call our ‘future’.
Useful Links: For more on the Gundestrup Cauldron, continental Mesolithic sites and ley lines visit