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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Lion jaw © 2000 The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester

Lion jaw

Lower jaw of a lion from Pin Hole gnawed by spotted hyaenas. Last Ice Age (Middle Devensian), 50,000-38,000 years old. Bone

The right lower jaw of a lion (Panthera leo) shown here, was found by A.L. Armstrong in Pin Hole sometime between 1924 and 1936. The jaw was amongst other animal bones belonging to the middle of the Last Cold Stage and is most probably dated to between 50,000-38,000 years ago. A photograph of Armstrong standing outside Pin Hole, and used by Harold Armitage in his book Early Man in Hallamshire (1939), shows him holding this lion jaw.

The lion, like the spotted hyaena, was a major mammalian predator, but its remains are far less common in the fossil record. This may be because lions were not as reliant on permanent dens to raise their young and were more wide ranging in the landscape. Unlike the spotted hyaena, lions leave no characteristic marks on the remains of their prey and so their presence is not as easily identifiable. Interestingly, there are gnawing marks on this specimen presumably due to spotted hyaenas.

Glossary: Last Cold Stage