Finds at Under the Uplands

Explore the open archaeological data from our digs at Under the Uplands

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  • Unworn tooth from a juvenile straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus)

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Registered Find Basics


    • This still erupting baby tooth belonged to a 3 year old straight-tusked elephant and – dating back to the last interglacial period – is approximately 125,000 years old. The tooth was found in 1872 in the lower cave earth inside Victoria Cave, and surrounding finds suggest that the tooth was deposited by a spotted hyena. It is currently archived in the Tot Lord collection in Yorkshire.
      • Johanna Ungemach
    • 19-8-2016
    • This unworn tooth belonged to a young, straight-tusked elephant (Palaeoloxodon antiquus) living in the Yorkshire Dales 120,000 years ago. It was found in 1872 by Victorian archaeologists inside Victoria Cave, near Settle, along with the remains of hippo, rhino, lion, brown bears and giant deer, and was probably part of a skull brought in by hyenas. A prime, male elephant would have stood over 5m tall, but at just 3 years old this baby was still entirely dependent on its mother for food and protection. Although we can empathise with the mother loosing her baby, by keeping the local elephant population in check, hyenas helped maintain what must have been an unimaginably rich ecosystem at the time.
      • Nigel Steel
    • 20-12-2016

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From Context

  • Context: UTU_3004
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    • Chamber D used in the finds recording system during the excavation in 1870-78
    • Nigel Steel
    • 3-1-2017