ICOMOS-UK 2013 Summer Meeting: Ice Age Art and Landscape 

Thursday 6 and Friday 7 June 2013

Creswell Crags Museum, Crags Road, Welbeck, Worksop, Notts S80 3LH

The Ice Age cave art at Creswell Crags, discovered in 2003, is Britain’s only example of Palaeolithic cave art.

Creswell Crags is a limestone gorge on the border between Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Cliffs either side of the narrow valley contain several caves that were seasonally occupied by groups of nomadic people during the last Ice Age, between about 43,000 and 30,000–28,000 BC, and then again about 10,000 BC.

The engravings and bas-reliefs found on the walls and ceilings of some of the caves represent the most northerly such finds in Europe. Their subject matter includes  representations of animals including deer, bison and, arguably, several different bird species. Creswell Crags is included on the UK’s current World Heritage Tentative List.

Dr Jill Cook, Curator of the recent major 'Ice Age Art' exhibition at the British Museum, was our guest speaker on Thursday 6 June. On Friday 7 June, Professor Paul Pettitt, who led the excavations at Creswell and made the all-important discoveries of Ice Age art, discussed his work and the context for this art. Prof Pettitt and Ian Wall, Director, Creswell Heritage Trust, led a tour of the caves and the limestone gorge. We then toured the surrounding magnesium limestone landscapes with Professor Andrew Chamberlain.This meeting was organised in collaboration with the Creswell Heritage Trust.