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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Cut marked hare bone  © 2000 Cliffe Castle Museum

Cut marked hare bone

Late Upper Palaeolithic food remains from Robin Hood Cave, 12,300 years old.

Part of the right shoulder blade (scapula) of an arctic hare (Lepus timidus). This bone was collected from breccia deposits at the west entrance to Robin Hood Cave by Thomas Heath and Magens Mello in 1875.Examination of the surface of the bone shows a series of cut marks made by a flint knife probably when the front leg was disarticulated from the shoulder. The bone is about 12,300 years old.

So many arctic hare bones were observed in the breccia that W.Boyd Dawkins concluded that '…Man was the normal inhabitant of the cave, while the broken bones prove that he fed for the most part on hares…'. Today, very few hare bones can be traced from this excavation.

The unnaturally straight distal end to the bone is where it has been sampled for radiocarbon dating. An age of 12,340 ± 120 BP (OxA-3415) supports dates for cut marked hare bones excavated by John Campbell from screes in front of Robin Hood Cave. These bones were found with Creswellian artefacts of the Late Upper Palaeolithic.

Glossary: Anatomically modern humans, Artefact, Assemblage, Backing, Biface, Blade, Breccia, Bronze Age, Butt, Carbonate, Cordiform, Core, Cortex, Creswellian, Culture, Debitage, Disarticulate, Distal, Early Upper Palaeolithic, Flake, Flake tool, Glacial, Hafting, Handaxe, Ice Age, Interglacial, Late Upper Palaeolithic, Middle Palaeolithic, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Pleistocene, Proximal, Radiocarbon, Retouch, Scree, Sediment, Striking platform, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic