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Palaeolithic Cave Art at Creswell Crags in European Context$
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Paul Pettitt, Paul Bahn, Sergio Ripoll, and Francisco Javier Muñoz Ibáñez

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199299171

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199299171.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 19 June 2021

The Palaeolithic Rock Art of Creswell Crags: Prelude to a Systematic Study

The Palaeolithic Rock Art of Creswell Crags: Prelude to a Systematic Study

2 (p.14) The Palaeolithic Rock Art of Creswell Crags: Prelude to a Systematic Study
Palaeolithic Cave Art at Creswell Crags in European Context

Sergio Ripoll

Francisco J. Muñoz

Oxford University Press

On 14 April 2003 the sensational discovery of a series of undoubtedly Palaeolithic figures in Church Hole Cave, Creswell Crags, certainly constituted a milestone in prehistoric investigations in the United Kingdom. For various reasons, the discovery team, comprising Sergio Ripoll, Paul G. Bahn, and Paul B. Pettitt was not able to reconvene to continue the work until the end of June. At that time we incorporated Francisco J.Muñoz into the team to help us in the work of documentation and prospection. At the time of writing, we have carried out two systematic campaigns of documentation, the first in June/July 2003, and the second in March 2004. With the financial support of English Heritage, and the technical support of the Creswell Crags Interpretation Centre, we undertook the detailed examination of all the wall surfaces of the various caves in the complex of the River Meadow where it passes through Creswell Crags (Fig. 2.1; Pl. 10). In some of them, arrangements had been made for scaffolding to be installed to provide access to the highest parts of the caves, given the lowering of their floor levels over more than a century, either through more or less systematic excavations or to facilitate visits by tourists in the Victorian period. 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 art to fifty-six figures in Church Hole, one in Robin Hood Cave, and one in Mother Grundy’s Parlour. Our work centred on Church Hole Cave, making the most of the scaffolding installed for that purpose. The methodology of the study was that which we routinely employ in various caves; as mentioned above, taking a detailed look from the entrance to the back along the left wall, and then returning to the exterior along the right wall.

Keywords:   Anstone Stone Gorge, near Creswell Crags, England, Bison sp. in British Palaeolithic, Dead Man’s Cave, England

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