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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spotted hyaena jaws © 2000 Natural History Museum, London

Spotted hyaena jaws

Jaw bones from Church Hole and Robin Hood Cave. Last Ice Age, 40,000 - 22,000 years old.

These bones are two left lower jaws from adult spotted hyaenas (Crocuta crocuta). Their age is unknown although Spotted hyaenas were denning at Creswell at various times from before 40,000 years ago up to at least 22,000 years ago. These jaws were found during the Victorian excavations in Church Hole and Robin Hood Cave in 1875-1876.

The spotted hyaena jaws are part of a large body of evidence suggesting that spotted hyaenass denned in the caves at Creswell and were responsible for bringing in much of the bone that littered the cave floors. Spotted hyaenas appear to have specialised in hunting or scavenging woolly rhinoceros and would presumably have scavenged from human kills. Unfortunately, it was the chewing and gnawing on the bones by spotted hyaenas which may have removed evidence from the bones, such as cut marks made by flint tools.

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, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic