Robin Hood Cave

Although this is the largest cave in the whole Creswell complex, the systematic checking of all its walls has yielded practically no positively identified engravings. The fact that almost all the walls are covered with modern graffiti and marks of metal tools has posed enormous problems for the task of survey. We have only detected a figure on the right wall of the first chamber, 7.35 m from the entrance and 3.30 m above the present floor. The depiction is 16 cm long by 10 cm wide, with a maximum between parallels of 13 cm, a negative inclination of 14° east and an orientation of 355° relative to absolute north. The engraving is very fine, with a width and depth of less than 1 mm, and a V-shaped section, although in some parts it is wider and U-shaped. We think that this may be a vulva, slightly inclined to the left, and the artist has also drawn the start of the hips and the waist. Moreover, in the right-upper part of the panel we have located a total of five vertical and parallel lines, which do not form any clear depiction. Due to the absence of zoomorphic depictions in the whole cave, we have some reservations about the possible Palaeolithic age of this figure, which we shall check again in situ, and correlate with the similar motifs identified in Church Hole.


In this cave, in the small gallery that opens to the right of the mouth, we have found a small decorated panel. This gallery was in all probability filled with sediments, deposited after the execution of the art, which were cleared out during the excavations carried out in 1969. The panel is located on the gallery's left wall, about 15 m from the entrance of the cave, and 1.8 m above the present floor. It comprises a fine-line engraving, with a V-shaped section, whose width and depth do not exceed 1 mm. Its maximum length is 15 cm and it is 6 cm wide. Its orientation is 275° relative to absolute north, and a negative inclination of 13° east. This figure was discovered in the first visit carried out in April 2003, and was checked again in the second campaign. At first we had thought that it could be a small horse head, facing left. However, we had reservations about this zoological attribution, given the panel's poor lighting conditions. In the second campaign of June 2003, this time with suitable equipment, we saw that it is in fact a sign formed by two planes which converge at the top to form an angle. This ideomorph, possibly a tectiform, resembles a boomerang, but the right-hand part is not closed, and is slightly wider than the left, which, in its central inner zone contains two vertical, parallel lines.

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