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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Flaked cobble © 2000 Sheffield Galleries & Museums Trust

Flaked cobble

Possible Middle Palaeolithic tool from Ash Tree Cave. Made of quartzite

A flaked silvery-grey quartzite cobble found by A.L. Armstrong during excavations at Ash Tree Cave between 1938 and 1957. It is unclear whether this artefact is a core from which flakes had been deliberately removed, or whether flakes had been accidentally removed during its use as a hammerstone. The age of this artefact is uncertain. Armstrong believed this object to be Middle Palaeolithic and part of the tool kit used by Neanderthals.

Armstrong found the cobble at a depth of 1.5 metres (5’-0”) in sediments suggested to be older than the Late Upper Palaeolithic. If the object is a core it is likely to be Middle Palaeolithic because this was the only time when quartzite was used as a raw material in the Creswell area. Armstrong further correlated it with the lowest of three supposed levels of Mousterian artefacts found during his excavations at Pin Hole. Alternatively, if this object is a hammerstone its age becomes more of a problem. While there are Middle Palaeolithic artefacts from Ash Tree Cave there is also, apparently from the same sediment, a flint blade which seems Upper Palaeolithic.

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, Hammerstone, Handaxe, Ice Age, Interglacial, Late Upper Palaeolithic, Middle Palaeolithic, Mousterian, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Pleistocene, Quartzite, Retouch, Sediment, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic