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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Flake knives © 2000 Cliffe Castle Museum

Flake knives

Quartzite flakes from Robin Hood Cave. Middle Palaeolithic tools, 60,000-40,000 years old.

These quartzite flakes were excavated from Robin Hood Cave in 1875. They are between 60,000 and 40,000 years old and are likely to have been used as knives for cutting and butchering animal carcasses. Quartzite, the raw material, can be found as pebbles close to Creswell Crags and derives from the Bunter Sandstone beds to the east. Both artefacts are Middle Palaeolithic and were part of the tool kit used by Neanderthals.

These flakes were found in what Mello described as a ‘light coloured cave-earth’. There was such an abundance of quartzite artefacts found at Robin Hood Cave that he likened the site to a ‘manufactory’.

Glossary: Anatomically modern humans, Artefact, Assemblage, Backing, Biface, Blade, Bronze Age, Bunter Sandstone, Cave-earth, 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, Quartzite, Retouch, Sediment, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic

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