New excavation at Creswell Crags

Yesterday, I had a fantastic opportunity to go and look at the exciting new excavation at Creswell Crags.

Creswell Crags is near Worksop and is one of the oldest sites of human occupation in Britain. Most of the caves were excavated by William Boyd Dawkins in the late 1800s, when he was  curator at The Manchester Museum. We still have many of the fossils on display and in the stores today.

Creswell Crags is a protected site and until a  year ago, had not been excavated for many decades. Find out about the University of Sheffield’s excavations below.

The new excavations are looking at an entrance (known as ‘The Crypt’) behind previously excavated scree. The 2009 excavation looked at material that came from the Victorian investigations, but this year’s excavation is looking at an undisturbed part of the cave.

As of yesterday, they had found various bones including a deer jaw (possibly a reindeer or a red deer) and two passages extending under Church Hole cave. These passages were probably not occupied, but could have been holes where the rubbish from the occupied cave above was dumped. If this is the case, the finds so far are the tip of the iceberg! Exciting stuff!

The story of Creswell Crags and climate change in the Last Ice Age will be a key story in our new Living Planet and Ancient Worlds galleries. I have put all my photographs on Flickr if you’d like to see more.

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