Jacquetta and Christopher Hawkes - The many forms of prehistoric man
Type of Spiritual Experience
The Pinhole Cave man or Pin Hole Cave Man is the common name for an engraving of a human figure on a woolly rhinoceros rib bone dating to the Upper Paleolithic that is now in the British Museum (cataloged as Palart 854). In the 1920s, a woolly rhinoceros rib (Coelodonta antiquitatis) that was broken at both ends was found in Pin Hole Cave, Creswell Crags, Derbyshire, England. The bone is dated to the Late Upper Paleolithic, about 12,000 years old.
Near one of the broken ends is engraved a male human figure. The drawing, 5 cm tall, faces to the right; the whole bone is 20.8 cm long. It is clearly a man as he has a penis – “this may have been an earlier feature of the bone that was enhanced” [sic]. His thin arm stretches out from his body. His head may be wearing a mask – or he is just drawn with a protruding nose and jaw. He has legs that appear incomplete, a crooked back, and a long engraved line across his upper body. The surface of the bone is scratched all over; on the reverse side of the bone there are two parallel engraved lines
A description of the experience
Prehistoric Britain – Dr Christopher and Jacquetta Hawkes
A long occupation of the Pin Hole Cave allows us to watch the gradual evolution of their culture into a form sufficiently distinct to warrant a name of its own, the Creswellian. This can be saluted as the first specifically British culture, poor cousin though it is to its brilliantly -successful French counterpart, the Magdalenian, which saw Paleolithic skill and artistry-reach their highest perfection. A few-examples of the fine Magdalenian -bone-work have been found in this country, as far south as Kent's Cavern and as far north as the West Riding, but we cannot guess if these were brought by actual immigrants driven by circumstance from their own more congenial territories, or whether, as valuable and sought-after objects, they had been bartered from hand to hand.
The many skeletons unearthed from European caves (a corpse in the home did not trouble and may even have encouraged these people) give a fair idea of the racial types of the men responsible for the late Paleolithic blade cultures.
Already they were varied, but clear correlation cannot always be established between racial and cultural divisions. There were powerful and slight physiques, long and short faces, while round skulls existed side by side with the dominant long-head form.
The source of the experienceThe Ancestors
Concepts, symbols and science items
Activities and commonsteps
This statue is Egyptian and provided for comparison. It is not known whether the head is naturally elongated or whether it was bound.