Exhibition Objects

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Mammoth foot bone  © 2000 The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester

Mammoth foot bone

Bone from Pin Hole. Late last Ice Age, 12,500 years old.

This foot bone (calcaneum) from a mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) was excavated by A.L. Armstrong from Pin Hole sometime between 1924 and 1936. Armstrong found this specimen just over 19.5 metres (64’) from the entrance and just under 1 metre (2’-6”) below the surface.

A radiocarbon date of 12,460 ± 160 years ago (OxA-1204) obtained from this bone provides one of the most recent dates for mammoth in the British Isles. It is the same age as the four mammoth skeletons (one adult and three juvenile) found in kettle hole deposits at Condover in Shropshire. Ivory artefacts are known from a number of Late Upper Palaeolithic sites of about this date including Pin Hole. However, these may have been manufactured from traded ivory. The date from the actual skeleton therefore provides good evidence for the local presence of mammoth approximately 12,500 years ago.

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, Radiocarbon, Retouch, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic

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