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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Needle © 2000 The British Museum


Needle from Church Hole made of bone. Upper Palaeolithic tool, 12,000 years old.

This fine needle has been worked from a splinter of bone from a large mammal. It was found by W.B. Dawkins on 21st June 1876 in Church Hole, Creswell Crags, near to the front of the cave and opposite the entrance to the side chamber. Needles like these were most probably used for sewing and mending clothes. This needle was made about 12,000 years ago.

In cross-section the needle is sub-rectangular changing from being broader and flatter at the head to being more nearly square towards the tip. The eye of the needle has been drilled slightly off centre from both sides and has a biconical or hour glass shape. Although not directly dated, this artefact is thought to be Late Upper Palaeolithic with confirmed radiocarbon dates from other artefacts for human use of this cave between about 12,250 and 12,000 years ago.

Glossary: Anatomically modern humans, Artefact, Assemblage, Backing, Biconical, 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, Middle Palaeolithic, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Pleistocene, Radiocarbon, Radiocarbon dates, Retouch, Tang, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic