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’

Search View all
Side scraper © 2000 The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester

Side scraper

Middle Palaeolithic tool from Pin Hole. 40,000 years old. Made on a flint flake.

This flint scraper was excavated from Pin Hole, by A.L. Armstrong on 25th July 1925. The microscopic study of use wear traces on the edges of similar tools of the same age from France suggests that these scrapers were used to clean animal hides and to shape or carve wood. Its age is probably about 40,000 years old and its maker was almost certainly a Neanderthal.

Much of the surface of the scraper is covered in cortex, the unmodified natural surface of flint nodules. Small flakes like fish scales (scalariform) have been struck off one side to produce an edge with the shape, angle and sharpness suitable for the task. This is known as retouch and can be seen along the convex edge. Armstrong found this artefact at the base of the upper red cave-earth, just over 11 metres (37') from the entrance and just under 1 metre (2'-6") below the deposit surface. The most likely context for this artefact is the Middle Palaeolithic archaeological period and if so, its location at the base of the upper cave earth, makes it one of the most recent Mousterian tools from the cave and perhaps from Creswell Crags.

Length 10 cm

Glossary: Anatomically modern humans, Artefact, Assemblage, Backing, Biface, Blade, Bronze Age, Cave-earth, Context, Convex, Cordiform, Core, Cortex, Creswellian, Culture, Debitage, Early Upper Palaeolithic, Flake, Flake tool, Glacial, Hafting, Handaxe, Ice Age, Interglacial, Late Upper Palaeolithic, Middle Palaeolithic, Mousterian, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Pleistocene, Retouch, Scraper, Sediment, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic, Use wear