Exhibition Objects

Welcome to Exploring Objects. Here you can explore the rich collection of objects that have been unearthed from the Creswell Heritage Area. To find an object, type in the words that best describe what you are looking for and click ‘Search’

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Handaxe © 2000 Creswell Heritage Trust


Middle Palaeolithic flint tool from Robin Hood Cave. 60,000 - 40,000 years old.

A flint handaxe (biface) made sometime between 60,000 and 40,000 years ago and found in the spoil of earlier excavations in 1969 by John Campbell at Robin Hood Cave. Handaxes are thought to be used primarily for butchering animals. When this artefact was first made it would have been larger with thinner, sharp edges suitable for cutting and slicing. Repeated trimming of this piece has created a very small artefact with steep edges which may eventually have been more use as a scraper.

Recent damage to the tip of the handaxe reveals that it has been made from a semi-translucent black flint. This flint is not local to Creswell Crags implying transport from where it was manufactured before it was discarded in Robin Hood Cave. The handaxe is Middle Palaeolithic and was part of the tool kit used by Neanderthals.

Glossary: Anatomically modern humans, Artefact, Assemblage, Backing, Biface, Blade, Bronze Age, Cordiform, Core, Cortex, Creswellian, Culture, Debitage, Early Upper Palaeolithic, Flake, Flake tool, Glacial, Hafting, Handaxe, Ice Age, Interglacial, Late Upper Palaeolithic, Middle Palaeolithic, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Pleistocene, Retouch, Scraper, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic