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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Flaked cobbles © 2000 The British Museum

Flaked cobbles

Flaked cobbles made on quartzite from Robin Hood Cave. Middle Palaeolithic artefacts, 60,000 - 40,000 years old.

Flaked quartzite cobbles found in Robin Hood Cave during excavations in 1875-1876. All three cobbles have been modified by the removal of small flakes struck off by using another stone as a hammer. The aim of the toolmaker may have been to produce small flakes of stone which could have been used as knives in which case the cobble from which they were struck would be a waste product or core. Alternatively, the removals may have been made to modify the cobble itself for use as a chopping tool. These objects are between 60,000 and 40,000 years old.

Removal of flakes from both faces along one side of two of the cobbles has formed a bifacially worked edge, suggesting it might have been a chopping tool. The third piece is more irregular with short flakes removed from multiple directions suggesting it is a core. The cobble (+7988) top right also has an area of abrasion on its natural surface where it has either been used as a hammerstone or an unsuccessful attempt has been made to detach more flakes. Quartzite pebbles like these are local to Creswell Crags. They are abundant in the Bunter Sandstone geological beds to the east. All three artefacts are Middle Palaeolithic and were part of the tool kit used by Neanderthals.

Glossary: Anatomically modern humans, Artefact, Assemblage, Backing, Biface, Bifacial, Blade, Bronze Age, Bunter Sandstone, Chopping tool, Cordiform, Core, Cortex, Creswellian, Culture, Debitage, Early Upper Palaeolithic, Flake, Flake tool, Glacial, Hafting, Hammerstone, Handaxe, Ice Age, Interglacial, Late Upper Palaeolithic, Leaf point, Middle Palaeolithic, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Pleistocene, Projectile, Quartzite, Retouch, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic