Jess and I visited Creswell Crags this month to brush up on our museum documentation skills. The refresher course was courtesy of The East Midlands Museum Service so thanks to them for investing in the development of the CITL team.
Creswell Crags is one of the most important archaeological sites in Britain and has long been on my list of things to see. Unfortunately, it was the 12th of February, a day when the country faced a variety of adverse weather conditions. Jess and I planned a look around the limestone gorge and caves that were occupied by humans as far back as the last ice age. However, the weather resembled that of the last ice age a little too much and we bottled out. I did get chance to look around their impressive new museum and I hope to return. You can plan your own visit here.
Buxton Museum is linked to Creswell Crags: Sir William Boyd Dawkins, the archaeologist and geologist who opened Buxton Museum was a key figure in the early excavations of the caves in 1875. His student and friend, Dr John Wilfriid Jackson, participated in later digs in 1923 and took responsibility for publishing many of the remarkable finds including animal remains and tools and jewellery used by nomadic humans between 55,000 and 10,000 years ago. This image of a mammoth’s milk teeth is from Jackson’s collection of lantern slides. It amuses me to learn that such a large and fearsome creature had milk teeth but it stands to reason when you think about it; they are mammals after all.
Back in Buxton, professional photographer Nick Lockett and his brother Steve have returned to provide us with more high-quality images of the collections. We had to figure out how to open more antiquated display cases, remove the objects, transport them to the photographer and put them back again. This process can be a slightly nerve-wracking challenge but I’m pleased to say that the objects remain intact! I wouldn’t be worth my salt as a collections assistant if I wasn’t careful. Needless to say, I would be happy if I never had to move a three foot-tall Ashford Black Marble urn again and Nick equally happy not having to take a shot (ABM is notoriously difficult to photograph). Here’s a picture of me taking credit for the great photography.
If you want to help us develop our technology and the future of the museum, you can volunteer to test our brand new apps https://collectionsinthelandscape.wordpress.com/buxton-projects-information/