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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Bison horn core and skull fragment © 2000 Nottingham Natural History Museum, Wollaton Hall Nottingham

Horn and skull fragment

Horn core and skull from Steetley quarry. Middle Last Cold Stage, 74,000 - 60,000 years old

This specimen is a horn core and partially crushed skull of a bison (bison priscus). It was probably exposed in a cave or fissure during quarrying at Steetley to the west of Worksop, Nottinghamshire, sometime around 1926. Unfortunately there is no contemporary account of this find.

The Pleistocene species identified in this collection include wolf, fox, bear, reindeer and bison. Because this, and other similar faunas, lack species characteristic of the middle of the Last Cold Stage, such as spotted hyaena, mammoth, wild horse and woolly rhinoceros, they have often been believed to be of more recent date and, quite possibly, Late Glacial. However, there is a radiocarbon date for a bison bone (metacarpal) from Steetley Wood cave of more than 44,700 years ago (OxA-2846) and recent research suggests that these faunas belong to the cool period between 74,000 and 60,000 years ago. Similar faunas are recorded from Ash Tree Cave near Whitwell and The Arch at Creswell Crags. It is impossible to demonstrate a human presence contemporary with any of these faunas and it looks as if Britain was deserted by people at this time.

Glossary: Anatomically modern humans, Artefact, Assemblage, Backing, Biface, Blade, Bronze Age, Cordiform, Core, Cortex, Creswellian, Culture, Debitage, Early Upper Palaeolithic, Fissure, Flake, Flake tool, Glacial, Hafting, Handaxe, Ice Age, Interglacial, Last Cold Stage, Late Upper Palaeolithic, Middle Palaeolithic, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Pleistocene, Radiocarbon, Retouch, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic