Today I’ve been to Creswell Crags to explore the ice age collections!
The main exhibition space contains many objects discovered by archaeologists at Creswell. These fall into two types: animal bones and teeth, and stone and bone tools created by the different groups of human visitors to Creswell over 50,000 years. It was fascinating to learn about the exotic animals (hippopotamus, hyena, lion, bison etc) that inhabited Creswell thousands of years ago, and to see how Neanderthal man developed strategies of managing the cold climate, the caves at Creswell Crags providing much needed shelter for man and animal.
Climate change is very much the focus of both the gallery displays and the cave tours (I went on the ‘Ice Age Tour’ led by Victorian archaeologist William Boyd Dawkins), but this is climate change operating over a long historical time period owing to fluctuations in the Earth’s orbit, rather than a concern with anthropogenic induced climate change in recent years. It will be interesting to see how I can fit these museum objects telling stories about the natural cycles of climate variability to ones speculating about human induced climatic change during more recent years.