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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Reindeer toe bone © 2000 Creswell Heritage Trust

Reindeer toe bone

Bone from Dead Man’s Cave. End of last Ice Age, 10,000 years old.

This toe bone (phalange) from a reindeer (Rangifer tarandus) was excavated by George Gwynne-Griffiths in 1967 at a site called Dead Man's Cave, North Anston, South Yorkshire. The bone is about 10,000 years old and indicates the local presence of reindeer at this time. Similar dates for reindeer are known from sites in north Germany where hunters made massive and wasteful kills of reindeer.

This phalange has been directly dated to 10,020 ± 80 BP (OxA-5804). Radiocarbon evidence from this site and elsewhere in Britain suggest that reindeer populations were thriving about 10,000 years ago Although there is no evidence for people in the Creswell area at this time there is increasing evidence for people in Britain including as far north as north east Yorkshire. Other bones of reindeer from the cave are clearly gnawed, most probably by wolves.

Glossary: Radiocarbon