The Southern Magnesian Limestone

Creswell Crags is located in the southern part of the Magnesian Limestone, a geological term for deposits of Upper Permian age that includes a series of formations of well-bedded oolitic to dolomitic limestones. The Magnesian Limestone forms a narrow north-south oriented outcrop that runs from near Nottingham in the south to the North Sea coast near Tynemouth in the north (Fig. 6.1). About 30 km to the west of the southern part of the Magnesian Limestone is the older Carboniferous Limestone...

Bone And Antler Artefacts

All of the bone and antler artefacts from Church Hole are in the British Museum and are parts of the Christy collection. Figure 7.12 1 was identified by Dawkins as having been made from the transverse process of a lumbar vertebra either of a wild horse or other large herbivore (1877 604). This object is now incomplete, probably due to excavation breakage and the depression on one face is also damage and not an uncompleted perforation. The bone fragment has been trimmed to an ovoid outline....

Palaeolithic Decorated Cave In Normandy

This characteristic has been amplified during modern times. The cave's natural entrance disappeared during the construction of the highway, which cut through the side of the hill. All that remains is a narrow corridor, about 12 m long and 2 m wide (at its start) which grows narrower towards the back, until it forms a kind of impenetrable fissure. The rock descends twice to almost 50 cm above the archaeological floor, and thus these low passages delimit three very...

Introduction And History Of Discoveries

Church Hole (SK 5339 7411) is towards the western end of Creswell Crags gorge. It is the only cave or fissure on the south (Nottinghamshire) side of the crags to have yielded evidence ofhuman occupation. It is not known when the cave got its name and at the beginning of its exploration, perhaps through ignorance, it was referred to simply as 'Fissure C' (Mello 1875) or the 'Notts Cave' (Dawkins n.d., 1876). Looking into the cave from the entrance grille is very like looking down the nave of a...

The Sculpted Frieze Discovered In Situ

The sculpted, engraved and painted frieze, preserved in situ, extends for more than 18 m in length and 2.5 m in height. It comprises several themes, such as bison, horses, ibex, female figures, and human profiles. An assemblage of such quality and such breadth is extremely rare and exceptional for the European Upper Palaeolithic less than ten caves and shelters contain such monumental sculpted figures. In the abri Bourdois, the sculpted parietal figures are not distributed at random. The...

Some Specific Comparanda And Interpretations

At least four images in Church Hole and one in Robin Hood cave may formally be regarded as triangular 'vulvae', whatever their interpretation. Such images, be they stylized female genital triangles, hoofprints, or less-obvious items, are known throughout the Upper Palaeolithic from the Aurig-nacian onwards (Bahn 1986). The Creswell vulvae take two main forms. One of these is comprised of three lines that converge in an apex (I acknowledge that others refer to this form as a 'bird track', Hunger...

Conservation And Management

An appreciation of the wealth of material preserved in the caves of the southern Magnesian Limestone brings with it the need to consider conservation and management strategies (Mills 2001). Archaeological caves are sensitive sites that are vulnerable to natural processes of disturbance and to direct human interference. Examples of natural threats to cave deposits include the activities of burrowing animals, damage to cave entrances from tree fall, and the erosion or dissolution of deposited...

Antonio Martinho Baptista and Antonio Pedro Batarda Fernandes

INTRODUCTION SAVING THE COA ROCK ART AND THE REORGANIZATION OF PORTUGUESE ARCHAEOLOGY Although Nelson Rebanda the archaeologist working for the electricity company (EDP) that was building a dam in the Coa river probably discovered the first Coa Valley engraved surface with Palaeolithic motifs (the now well-known Rock 1 of Canada do Inferno) in November 1991, the find was only revealed to the public in November 1994 (Jorge 1995 Rebanda 1995). Subsequently, the first reports on 'important...

Mobilier

Although, as noted above, parallels in the formal typology of portable artefacts or designs engraved upon them may relate solely to the circulation of such items, they indicate at the very least the currency of design norms across Magdalenian space. In a general sense, then, similarities will at least indicate areas over which elements of cultural repertoires are moving. The Final Magdalenian archaeological level at Pin Hole cave yielded four fragments of a mammoth ivory sagaie bearing two...

The Sculpted Bison Remaining in situ on the Ceiling of the Taillebourg Cave

On the ceiling, the most readable part is that where the bison is located. It was discovered on 30 June 1949 and was fully unearthed on 6 July. This was the first evidence of parietal art at Angles. It is located above locus VII, excavated by S. de Saint-Mathurin, in which several blocks were discovered that can be compared with this bison. These blocks, which can in part be refitted, bear bison depictions Fig. 12.6 . The fractures affecting the bison's back and hindquarters and the space...

Stylistic Attribution And Dating

At the time of Henri Breuil's visit to Gouy, only the walls of the second and third chambers were visible. For him, the parietal art was Magdalenian he picked up a worked flint during his long visit . For Andre Leroi-Gourhan, the horse in the last chamber corresponded to Style III, whereas the vulvae of the first chamber and the sign that could be linked to the female silhouettes depicted in profile were instead of Style IV 4 Two fluorescent tubes for aquaria, of an identical white, are on sale...

Sicily

Sicily, currently an island of 25, 700 km2 and the largest in the Mediterranean, lies 140 km from Africa, and a few kilometres off southern Italy. The strait of Messina is 3 to 25 km wide, but is far from easy to cross, because of violent tidal currents, and whirlpool, also known as 'Charybdis' by Greeks and Romans. The depth is just 72 m at the Sill of Peloro. Because of intense neotectonic activity, however, any palaeogeographic reconstruction is highly speculative. Analysis of the faunal...

Conclusion on the Horses of Roucadour

Hence, the horses of Roucadour display a general trend towards schematiza-tion their graphism shows a few conventions that are well known at the start of Palaeolithic art absolute profile, limbs without volume or perspective, reduction of the head, duck-bill, hanging bellies, arch-shaped manes, X-shaped legs but at the same time they escape uniformity through a frequent recourse to detail the markings ofthe coat, the astonishing precision of certain anatomical segments, especially the legs and...

Sardinia

The Upper Palaeolithic record of Sardinia is much more elusive than the Sicilian one Mussi et al. in press . The island, of 24, 000 km2, lies 120 km west of the Italian peninsula, and 185 km north of Africa. At the Last Glacial Maximum it merged with modern Corsica, and the resulting island was by then the largest in the Mediterranean Caloi and Malatesta 1974 Fierro et al. 1981 Oser et al. 1980 . The Sardo-Corsican island was severed from peninsular Italy by an arm of the sea, which was...

General Characteristics of the Horse Depictions of Roucadour

Comparison of the horse images of Roucadour leads to the following observations the numbering of each horse image includes the number of the panel followed by that of the figure in the panel . 1. They are depicted in absolute profile. Often the fore legs are both present whereas the hind legs are sometimes represented by a single limb. The limbs are always side by side, with no attempt at perspective. 2. The head is always small it represents from 8 to 10 per cent of the total length of the...

Church Hole

Since the most spectacular figure, discovered at the start, was in Church Hole Pl. 11 , we decided to begin our systematic prospecting in that cave from its mouth, along the left wall to the interior, as far as the far end over 75 metres depth, and then back again towards the exterior along the right wall. During the systematic campaign of documentation of spring 2004 we discovered new figures which have potentially increased, in our opinion, the iconographic corpus of British Palaeolithic rock...

The Ceiling Of The Taillebourg Cave

Rousseau announced his discovery of a new site in the Vienne at Angles-sur-l'Anglin Rousseau 1933 4 . At the time, the site was called 'Cave a Fig. 12.6. Example of a plan recording the blocks fallen from the ceiling of the Cave Taillebourg during the excavation by S. de Saint-Mathurin Fig. 12.6. Example of a plan recording the blocks fallen from the ceiling of the Cave Taillebourg during the excavation by S. de Saint-Mathurin Lucien Jacob' the name of an early owner of the land but...

Conclusion

Without the decision to study the walls close to the ceiling of the first chamber, as well as the fragments of red paint, the latest discoveries would not have been made. The happy consequence of this has been the revelation of a 'new cave'. One can now see the whole cave with totally different eyes, and doubtless even more so since the discovery of the parietal art in Church Hole, at Creswell Crags. The field of investigation is broadening considerably. Gouy is also contributing new food for...

The Last Horse Depictions in the Palaeolithic of the Quercy

We find further examples of the 'big-headed horses' in a very few interesting sites with parietal art at the end of the Quercy Magdalenian the cave of Pestillac Montcabrier, Lot and the rockshelter of Lagrave Faycelles, Lot , discovered recently Ipiens et al. 2000 Sentis 2000 . In both cases, the horse engravings the length of the heads varying between 20 and 30 per cent of the animals' total length are associated with female depictions of Gonnersdorf type which makes it possible to attribute...

Middle Magdalenian

Magdalenian Bison

A large number of dates for black paintings are concentrated in this period, with a chronology of 14,400 14,200 to 13,300 13,200 bp in Cantabrian Spain. Out of the Asturian sites, the results from Covaciella are particularly coherent, with dates for charcoal and the acid-humic fraction for two bison Fortea et al. 1995 268 indicating an age at the start of the middle Magdalenian, between 14,260 and 14,060 bp. This agrees with the stylistic coherence for the whole composition. In the same way,...

The Magdalenian Horses of the Quercy

In the cave of Sainte-Eulalie Lot , I recorded and studied eight horse images which I compared with the horse depictions of Les Combarelles and Les Trois Fr res Lorblanchet 1973 . These animals are immediately distinguishable from those of Roucadour and the early phases of Quercy art through their technique of short multiple incisions, avoiding big linear traces done in one go, their massive appearance, the accuracy of the bodily proportions, and the size of the head. Figure 11.8 . The heads...

The Coa Valley Archaeological Park

Martinho Baptista Coa

After the November 1995 governmental decision to cancel the construction of the Coa dam, the PAVC was formally created in August 1996. It became Portugal's first archaeological park. Portuguese legislation did not even allow for the existence of archaeological parks, and a lengthy legal process in order to acknowledge it under the law had to be initiated from the beginning. Meanwhile, the park was integrated with the Portuguese Institute for Archaeology. The demarcation of the PAVC's territory,...

Late Glacial Mammals In The British Isles

The most conspicuous mammal in Late Glacial times was surely the woolly mammoth, known from several dated specimens from Condover, Shropshire, and from scraps of ivory or bone from several cave sites, including Pin Hole and Robin Hood Caves at Creswell Lister 1991 . Almost as conspicuous, and much more abundant, was the giant deer or Irish elk Megaloceros giganteus , known from over sixty sites in Ireland Reynolds 1929 Yalden 1999 , from several sites on the Isle of Man, and from many elsewhere...

Info

Church Hole Panel VII upside reasons why this may be so. Today, one walks into the cave some 2 metres below the original level of the floor in Magdalenian times, as the excavations in the 1870s see Jacobi, this volume emptied the cave of older sediments containing Middle Palaeolithic archaeology. Panel VII is the only major panel of images beyond the 'daylight' zone of the cave, and it is also the only set of images that were not engraved at head height. We must therefore assume that...

Paul G Bahn

INTRODUCTION PREVIOUS CLAIMS FOR BRITISH CAVE ART On 14 April 2003, we made the first discovery of Palaeolithic cave art in Britain. Since portable art of the period had long been known in this country Sieveking 1972 Campbell 1977 vol. 2, figs. 102, 105, 143 , it had always seemed probable that parietal art must also have existed. It was fairly obvious that paintings were unlikely to be discovered barring the finding of a totally unknown cave or a new chamber within a known cave since paintings...

Introduction

Enough mammal specimens of Late Glacial date from the British Isles have been subjected to radiocarbon dating to provide a reliable outline of the likely large mammal fauna of the time, though the accompanying fauna of small mammals has mostly been assigned to this period on associative, rather than direct, dating. These give an adequate zoological background against which to examine the suggested identities of the large mammals depicted at Church Hole, Creswell Crags. This background...

Zoological Problems In Identifying The Creswell Specimens

Public announcements and press interest in the engravings originally suggested that the ungulates represented were bison and ibex. Both are familiar from cave paintings in southern Europe, indeed bison are frequently shown, and in principle their depiction would not be surprising. However, as Table 5.1 makes clear, neither is an established member of the Late Glacial mammal fauna in the British Isles. The two species present different problems. Bison are well known in the early Devensian faunas...