A goblin's house and a Roman shrine?(read more)
DERSB : 3691
Bone needle found at Thirst House Cave, Deepdale.
The needle is one of the oldest tools, and remains unchanged in its design. Prehistoric needles might not have been very sharp more likely, they were the tool to carry thread between ready pierced holes.
People carved tools and ornaments from materials that were easily available, such as antler and bone, selecting particular bones and materials for particular purposes. These materials survive well in the limestone soil of the White Peak. Carved and polished bone made smooth needles and pins, as well as toggles and buttons to fasten clothing. Bone was still used even after metalworking skills had improved. It can be difficult to date bone objects just by their shape and style. Most of the ones on display were found in caves that hold both prehistoric and Roman material, so they are between 3,000 and 1,500 years old.
Thirst House Cave was excavated by father and son, Micah and William Salt of Buxton in the 1890s. The assemblage of artefacts including brooches, pottery, and coins suggests that the cave was occupied between 100CE and 160CE and again between 240CE and 280CE.
The cave has been well known to local people for hundreds of years and it had entered into local folklore. The old name for the cave was Hob Hurst House named for an unpredictable goblin or elf who was supposed to dwell there. Over time the name was corrupted to The Hurst House, then Thhurst House, and finally Thirst House.
Micah Salt (1847-1915) was a tailor in Buxton who had a great interest in archaeology. This was usually a hobby of the elite and he was described, rather condescendingly, in a contemporary journal as "an intelligent tradesman". Salt excavated many lows (burial mounds) around Buxton, and acquired finds from local farmers and landowners. His findings were collated by W Turner and published in 1899 as 'Ancient Remains near Buxton: The Archaeological Explorations of Micah Salt'. This book records many of the first objects that were given to the museum.
- Who collected it? Salt, M. (collector)
- Rights: Creative Commons CC BY-NC 4.0 Buxton Museum and Art Gallery (part of Derbyshire County Council)