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 The British Museum

Flake knives

Flake knives made on quartzite flakes from Robin Hood Cave. Middle Palaeolithic tools, 60,000 - 40,000 years old.

Three quartzite flakes found in Robin Hood Cave during the excavations in 1875-1876. These flakes are between 60,000 and 40,000 years old and are likely to have been used as knives for cutting and butchering animal carcasses. All three flakes could be termed naturally backed knives because the toolmaker has left a strip of the unmodified natural outer surface of the quartzite on the right hand edge, providing a natural rest for the index finger when the tool was used for cutting.

Careful study of these flakes has revealed that the person who was knapping the core was rotating it anti-clockwise. Quartzite pebbles, the raw material, can be found locally to Creswell Crags as they occur abundantly within the Bunter Sandstone 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, Blade, Bronze Age, Bunter Sandstone, 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, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic