Ice Age Art at Creswell Crags
The engravings and paintings of the last Ice Age represent the first known flowering of art. The spectacular limestone gorge known as Creswell Crags is thought to have been occupied by as early as 43,000BC. This network of caves, weathered deep into the rock, no doubt provided shelter from the harsh conditions of the last Ice Age. The area is now home to Britain’s most important collection of occupation sites from this period.
The first ‘hint’ of Creswell’s ancient art was found in 1876, when Victorian antiquarians discovered what has become known as the Ochre Horse, an engraving on a rib bone hidden in the caves at Creswell. However, it was not until 2003 that Britain’s only confirmed examples of Ice Age cave art were discovered - and by none other than Dr Bahn himself, who leads this Study Day. Thanks to that discovery, the Crags obtained a lottery grant which paid for a magnificent new museum/visitor centre where the original material from the caves (portable art, tools and animal remains) can be seen on display. This is a glimpse into the remote, enigmatic world of our Ice Age ancestors.