The Cresswell Footprints
In 2015 archaeologist Barry Mead was on coastal patrol. Following the 2013 Rescued from the Sea excavations five local volunteers, recruited by Clive Waddington, were each allocated a mile long section of the coast between the Northumberland villages of Cresswell ans Amble. The volunteers regualrly monitor their section of the eroding shoreline to record and report any new archaeology before the sea swallows it up.
In the picture above you can see the buildings of the village of Cresswell in the distance as well as the concrete coastal defences dating from the seconf World War. To the right you will notice, eroding from the dunes, a newly exposed layer of peat. Barry was the first person to see 7,000 year old animal prints clearly visible in the peat.
The fragile peat suface holds the impressions of wild boar and, as shown in the lower footprint above, what could be deer. Unlike the footprints at Hauxley there are no definite human prints
One unique feature of the Cresswell prints can be seen in the photograph below. There are several instances of these distinct scratch marks in a number of locations on the exposed peat surface. The size and spacing of the scratches srtongly suggest that these may have been made by one or more bears, rooting for food here at Cresswell 7,000 years ago. Further investigation of the scratches is to take place to shed more light upon this theory. There are more examples in the gallery.