Site History

Creswell Crags represents one site among a significant cluster of cave sites inhabited during the last Ice Age in Britain. The dramatic limestone gorge is tucked away within the gently undulating limestone landscape on the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire border. Archaeological and environmental evidence excavated from the caves show how the area witnessed dramatic changes in climate at the edge of the northern ice sheets and was populated by Ice Age animals such as hyenas, mammoths, woolly rhinoceros, and migrating herds of reindeer, horse and bison.

Significantly the caves provided shelter for nomadic human groups through a crucial period of human evolution between 55,000 and 10,000 years ago. Stone, bone and ivory tools from the caves reveal Middle and Upper Palaeolithic occupation, in addition to portable and recently discovered 13000 year old engraved rock art figures of deer, birds, bison, and horse. This evidence connects the Ice Age human cultures at Creswell Crags to groups across north west Europe.


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