Swimming reindeer sculpture on loan to Creswell Crags

Creswell Crags has one of the most important pieces of Ice Age sculpture, The Swimming Reindeer, on loan from the British Museum as part of its Spotlight Tours. It is one of the greatest treasures of the British Museum’s collection and was included in the British Museum/ BBC Radio 4 partnership programme, A History of the World in 100 Objects.

The 13,000 year old object will be the focus of a new, temporary exhibition being held at Creswell Crags Visitor Centre entitled The Swimming Reindeer: Ice Age Art and Storytelling, which explores the relationship between art and the practice of telling stories.

The intricate sculpture was carved from the tip of a mammoth’s tusk at around the same time that Ice Age man was creating the engravings on the wall of Church Hole and pieces of  art which were found in the caves at Creswell Crags.

The sculpture depicts two reindeer that appear to be swimming and was found in Montastruc in central-southern France. When it was first exhibited in Paris in 1867, the intricate carving proved that humans lived alongside Ice Age animals and had imaginative minds, the same as modern humans.

The exhibition will run until December 16 and admission is free.

Creswell Crags, which is between Chesterfield and Worksop, is a limestone gorge honeycombed with caves and smaller fissures. Stone tools and remains of animals found in the caves by archaeologists have provided us with evidence for a fascinating story of life during the last Ice Age between 50,000 and 10,000 years ago.

For more information about Creswell Crags go to the website http://www.creswell-crags.org.uk or follow them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151265877006233.505871.101413861232&type=3