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Excavations in the Pin Hole Cave, Creswell Crags, Derbyshire

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 October 2013

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The Pin Hole Cave was the first of the five caves forming the Creswell Group, in which excavation work was undertaken by the Rev. Magens Mello in 1875, and where his first discoveries were made. Operations at that time were confined to a limited area at the entrance of the cave and were mainly superficial; subsequent excavations ignored the cave entirely, and consequently the important deposits contained there have remained intact. This is a fortunate circumstance, because the Pin Hole, by reason of its position in the cliff face, is the only cave of the group in which a stratified record of the whole sequence of Creswell cultures has been preserved. Had it been excavated in 1875 much important scientific evidence would inevitably have been missed which the systematic excavation of the cave by modern methods has revealed, thereby providing not only valuable information respecting climatic variations during the cave period, but also a type cave-section for Britain.

Two beds of cave-earth are present—an upper, red, cave-earth, 6 to 7 feet in thickness, sealed beneath either crystalline stalagmite or breccia; and a lower, yellow, cave-earth, 10 to 11 feet in thickness, the total average depth of the deposit being 17 feet to the bed rock of the cave. The upper cave-earth contains a series of typical Upper Palæolithic industries ranging from Upper Aurignacian and proto-Solutrean at its base, to a late Aurignacian culture at the top, corresponding in time to the Magdalenian of France.

Research Article
Copyright © The Prehistoric Society 1932

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