Cultural Context and Form of Some of the
Creswell Images: An Interpretative Model
Paul. B. Pettitt
Since Dorothy Garrod (1926) coined the term 'Creswellian' to describe the British Late Upper Palaeolithic archaeology and in doing so emphasized its differences from the contemporary Late Magdalenian, the degree of connectedness of British Late Glacial hunter-gatherers with those of the continental mainland has been debated. Garrod pointed to the robust local tradition of single and double obliquely truncated backed pieces—Creswell and Cheddar Points respectively—and emphasized their dissimilarity, warranting in her opinion a separate taxonomie classification for the 'provincial' archaeology of Britain. Jacobi (1991) was the first to realize the problems with such a 'splitting' perspective, noting how the main type fossils of the Creswellian could be found among continental assemblages. While to a certain degree the problem can be seen as deriving from the specific culture-historical paradigm that Garrod was working within (Charles 1999), the degree of connection
I am grateful for a British Academy small research grant which enabled my study of the
Gönnersdorf and Andernach material. I am especially grateful to Sabine Gaudzinski, Director of
the Forschungsbereich Altsteinzeit of the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum for allowing me
access to the material, and colleagues at this institution, in particular Lutz Kindler, Elaine Turner,
Martin Street, Olaf Joris and Martina Sensberg, for making my stay so profitable and enjoyable.
Gerhardt Bosinski very kindly gave me permission to reproduce Gönnersdorf and Andernach
illustrations. John Clegg kindly passed on his experience of making formal analogies in rock art
studies. Ian Wall and the staff of the Creswell Crags Visitor Centre continue to provide a friendly
and pleasant context in which to work: long may our collaborations continue. Roger Jacobi and
Paul Bahn kindly offered comments on a previous draft and information essential to the model.
I am, of course, very aware that the model represents my own views: I can only hope that
colleagues don't think that the concentration on naked women says more about me than about