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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Small blades and a scraper © 2000 Creswell Heritage Trust

Small blades and a scraper

Mesolithic flint tools from Mother Grundy's Parlour. 9,000-8,500 years old.

This collection of small flint blades and a scraper were excavated by John Campbell from scree and slope deposits in front of the entrance of Mother Grundy’s Parlour, Creswell Crags, in 1969. The precise use of the blades is unknown although damage found on artefacts almost identical artefacts with that on the left suggests they may have been hafted and used on arrows . The small thumbnail scraper may have been used to clean animal hides or to shape wood. All of these tools are thought to be between 9,000 and 8,500 years old.

The three steeply trimmed blades in the top row are also known as microliths. The steep chipping along the edge was either carried out to create a point or to provide a roughened edge to allow the blade to be hafted securely in resin, which acted as a glue, when set along the sides of a haft. The dense grey flint used to make the microlith on the left and the scraper originated from the Lincolnshire or Yorkshire Wolds. The other microliths are made from a pale fine grained chert whose origin is uncertain, but may have been the limestone of the Peak District to the west. These tools provide evidence for Mesolithic hunters camping at this cave at a time when pine, oak, elm and hazel woodland grew in the surrounding landscape. Burnt bone also dated to this time suggests they may have been hunting wild cattle, while charred hazel nut shells implies camping during the late summer.

Glossary: Anatomically modern humans, Artefact, Assemblage, Backed blade, Backing, Biface, Blade, Bronze Age, Cordiform, Core, Cortex, Creswellian, Culture, Debitage, Devensian, Early Upper Palaeolithic, Flake, Flake tool, Glacial, Hafting, Handaxe, Holocene, Ice Age, Interglacial, Late Upper Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Middle Palaeolithic, Neanderthal, Palaeolithic, Pleistocene, Retouch, Scraper, Scree, Sediment, Tool, Upper Palaeolithic