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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 Mammoth ja © 2000 Natural History Museum, London

Mammoth jaw

Upper jaw of a young woolly mammoth from Pin Hole. Last Ice Age.

This is a rare specimen of the upper jaw (palate) of a very young mammoth (Mammuthus primigenius) where the first two milk teeth are preserved. Mammoths, like other elephants, have cheek teeth composed of a series of enamel plates closely bonded together with dental cement. This arrangement provides a very efficient grinding surface to chew through large quantities of vegetation. This upper jaw was found in Pin Hole by A.T.Metcalfe prior to the excavation of J.M. Mello and C.White in 1875. The age of this specimen is unknown.

The mammoth had an enormous global distribution which, at its maximum extent, ranged from the British Isles to Mexico. Throughout the Pleistocene it was the dominant native elephant of the high northern latitudes and was responsible for creating and maintaining the vast open grassland of the 'mammoth steppe'. A small isolated population of mammoths survived on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean until a little over 4,000 years ago.

Glossary: Glacial, Ice Age, Interglacial, Pleistocene, Steppe