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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Marrow probes © 2000 The British Museum

Marrow probes

Marrow probes from Church Hole made from reindeer antler. Upper Palaeolithic tools, 12,000 years old.

These two rods made from reindeer antler were found in Church Hole, Creswell Crags, during the excavation by Mello, Heath and Dawkins in 1876. Their size and gently tapered and scooped ends suggest that they may have used to gouge out the soft, edible marrow found inside long bones. A similar design of probe was used for extracting marrow from bones in Victorian Britain. The Creswell examples are about 12,000 years old.

Both are anciently broken. Radiocarbon dates have been obtained for both objects at 12,020 ± 100 BP (OxA-3717) and 12,250 ± 90 BP (OxA-3718) placing these tools within the Later Upper Palaeolithic.

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