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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Awl © 2000 The Manchester Museum, The University of Manchester


Awl from Pin Hole made on bone from the lower back leg of an arctic hare. Upper Palaeolithic tool, 12,500 years old.

This bone point is likely to have been used as an awl for piercing holes in animal hide. The surface of the awl has been polished by a lot of handling. A.L. Armstrong found this artefact in Pin Hole, on 31st October 1925. It is likely to be about 12,500 years old.

The bone point was discovered approximately 12 metres (40') from the entrance and 1.5 metres (4'6") below the surface of the deposits in the lower part of the upper red cave earth near to the west wall of the cave. It was thought by the excavator to have slipped downwards between rocks. When the account of this find was published it was described as being made from the leg bone of a large bird. It has in fact been made on the distal end of the left tibia of an arctic hare (Lepus timidus). Other awls made from arctic hare tibiae are known from Church Hole and Robin Hood Cave. The example from Robin Hood Cave has been radiocarbon dated to 12,580 ± 110 BP (OxA-3416) placing these tools within the Later Upper Palaeolithic as part of the Creswellian culture.

Glossary: Anatomically modern humans, Artefact, Assemblage, Awl, Backing, Biface, Blade, Bronze Age, Butt, Cordiform, Core, Cortex, Creswellian, Culture, Debitage, Distal, Early Upper Palaeolithic, Flake, Flake tool, Glacial, Hafting, Handaxe, Ice Age, Interglacial, Late Upper Palaeolithic, Middle Palaeolithic, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Pleistocene, Proximal, Radiocarbon, Retouch, Striking platform, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic