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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Bevelled antler point © 2000 Bolton Museum and Art Gallery

Bevelled antler point

Upper Palaeolithic weapon tip from Creswell Crags. Specific site uncertain. 12,500 years old. Made from antler.

This beautifully made antler spear tip is possibly about 12,500 years old. It was probably the point of a throwing spear or javelin. The circumstances surrounding its discovery are a mystery although it is believed to have come from Creswell Crags and excavated during the later part of the nineteenth century.

One end of the antler point has been bevelled on opposing sides to assist with hafting while the other end has been worked to a slender point. The curve the object takes along its length may be a result of burial conditions in the cave. In his book Notes on the Barrows and Bone-caves of Derbyshire (1877) Rooke Pennington states “…I have in my possession, from one of the caves, a neat pin or lancehead, very much like some of those found in the Kesslerloch cavern, in Switzerland…”. The caves referred to are those at Creswell Crags. The reference to Kesslerloch near Thayngen in Schaffhausen in the Upper Rhine is a cave used by Later Upper Palaeolithic (Magdalenian) hunters between 14,150 and 12,800 years ago. Bevelled points like this are frequently found in Upper Palaeolithic contexts and are usually interpreted as weapon tips. At Creswell the most likely context for this piece would be the Late Upper Palaeolithic, perhaps the Creswellian, which at Robin Hood Cave is dated to between 12,600 and 12,300 years ago.

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