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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Antler fragments © 2000 Natural History Museum, London

Antler fragments

Reindeer antler gnawed by spotted hyaenas from Pin Hole. Last Cold Stage (Middle Devensian) , 50,000 - 35,000 years old.

These pieces of reindeer antler (Rangifer tarandus) were found in Pin Hole during the excavation by A.L. Armstrong between 1924-1936. They are believed to be between 50,000-38,000 years old, the middle part of the Last Ice Age (Middle Devensian).

The fine tips of the antler tines, particularly when they appear to be bevelled, have frequently been mistaken for the tips of an early type of weapon. However, careful examination shows that they have been altered by carnivores, probably spotted hyaenas in this case, which have gnawed, swallowed and excreted them. Acids in the saliva and digestive tracts of these animals have pitted and sculpted the fragments to resemble artefacts. During the coldest part of the Last Cold Stage reindeer extended as far south as the Pyrennees and Rhône valley. Radiocarbon age estimates suggest that reindeer were still living in the Creswell area about 9,700 years ago

Glossary: Anatomically modern humans, Antler tine, Artefact, Assemblage, Backing, Bevelled, Biface, Blade, Bronze Age, Carnivore, Cordiform, Core, Cortex, Creswellian, Culture, Debitage, Devensian, Early Upper Palaeolithic, Flake, Flake tool, Glacial, Hafting, Handaxe, Ice Age, Interglacial, Last Cold Stage, Late Upper Palaeolithic, Middle Palaeolithic, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Pleistocene, Radiocarbon, Retouch, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic