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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Point  © 2000 The British Museum


Upper Palaeolithic weapon tip from Pin Hole, 12,500 years old. Made from mammoth ivory

This piece of mammoth ivory is thought to be part of a broken point which was used as a spear tip. It is about 12,500 years old. A.L. Armstrong found this artefact on 24 Jaunuary 1925 during his excavation in Pin Hole just over 10 metres (34') from the entrance and just under 0.3 metres (1') below the surface of the deposit.

The base of this artefact has been shaped to a bevel on two sides. This has created a tang by which it could be attached to a haft. Both bevels have been scored, possibly to roughen the surface and help bind with resins which may have been used to fix the point in a spear. At the other end another facet is present caused by the object shearing along the natural grain of the ivory. Along the left hand side a series of sinuous lines have been engraved. It has been suggested that this design might represent a schematically drawn fish. A further four pieces of ivory engraved with the same design, stored at The Manchester Museum, may be more parts of this tool although it was not possible to join these pieces to the base. This piece is thought to be Late Upper Palaeolithic and part of the "Creswellian" culture.

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, Middle Palaeolithic, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Pleistocene, Retouch, Tang, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic