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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Knife blades © 2000 Creswell Heritage Trust

Knife blades

Late Upper Palaeolithic flint blades from Dead Man's Cave. About 12,000 years old.

These flint blades were excavated by George Gwynne-Griffiths (then G. White) from Dead Man’s Cave, North Anston, South Yorkshire, in 1967-1968. Although there are differences in the shape of these blades, they could all be described as backed blades with steep chipping along one edge. A striking feature of the collection from Dead Man’s Cave is that all the tools appear adapted for piercing and cutting. All of them are about 12,000 years old, part of the Late Upper Palaeolithic.

Each of the blades in the top row could also be described as a Creswell point where there is a single clear angle part way along the backed edge. The use of these tools for disarticulating prey and filleting meat is only one interpretation and they could have been used for other tasks that involved cutting, piercing and whittling. George Gwynne-Griffiths also found a few chips of flint with these artefacts which suggest some flint knapping was taking place at the cave. The blade on the bottom left has been lightly heated presumably in a fire. Altogether, the evidence indicates only a short episode of use of this site.

Glossary: Anatomically modern humans, Artefact, Assemblage, Backed blade, 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, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic

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