Bear Claw Marks

At the Stainton West site, one large trunk or bough of oak wood at the lower, Mesolithic levels within the palaeochannel bore some strange markings. In one spot, it had been gnawed, so that approximately half its thickness was removed in a ‘melon slice’ shape.

Similar scars were left on several other pieces of large wood from the channel and this is believed to be evidence of beaver activity. In addition to the gnawing, a series of parallel scratches had been gouged through the timber in various directions. These marks are rather enigmatic, but could perhaps have been left by a brown bear climbing the tree.