Collection online

engraved antler/bone/ivory / portable art

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Engraved rib bone fragment intentionally grooved and snapped at one end and broken at the other. One side of the bone carries a carefully engraved drawing of the forequarters, head and neck of galloping horse shown facing right. Prior to drawing, the bone was scraped smooth leaving faint tool marks on the surface. The horse head is outstretched, the eye, nostrils and mouth simply drawn, the back of the jaw strongly marked. The upright mane is shown along the top edge of the rib as a series of diagonal hatched lines and the line of the back extends behind it. The raised, foreshortened right leg is drawn towards the left end of the lower edge. Fine, widely spaced, vertical lines are incised over and in front of the horse . The drawing is damaged by an ancient break at the left end of the bone. This break occurred after the bone had been coloured with red ochre and before the horse engraving had been crossed through with deep horizontal grooves. Such grooves do not occur on the opposite side of the bone which is decorated with slightly curved diagonal lines.


  • Culture/period

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 7.3 centimetres
    • Width: 2.3 centimetres
    • Thickness: 0.8 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    This is the only piece of Upper Palaeolithic figurative art showing an animal known from Britain.

  • Bibliography

    • Sieveking 1987 855 bibliographic details
    • Cook 2013 (a) pp. 250-3 bibliographic details
    • Cook 2013 (b) pp. 62-3; 194 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2014 29 May- 2017 28 May, Worksop, Creswell Crags Museum, LT Loan.
    2013 24 Jun-16 Sep, Spain, Santander, Fundación Botín, Ice Age Art
    2013 7 Feb-26 May, London, BM Ice Age Art
    2009 23 Jun- 2012 Dec, Nottinghamshire, Creswell Crags Museum, LT loan.
    2003 26 Apr-24 Aug, USA, Lexington, Kentucky Horse Park, All the Queen’s Horses
    1984-1985 1 Oct-31 Dec, France, Paris, Musee de l'Homme, Arts et Civilisations des Chasseurs de la Prehistoire
    1970 28 Jul-29 Sep, Sheffield City Museum, 10,000 Years of Man

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • Christy +8164
Palart.855 horse engraved on bone from Robin Hood Cave


Palart.855 horse engraved on bone from Robin Hood Cave

Image description



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Object reference number: BCB91725

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