Objects in Focus

Jersey Heritage has hundreds of objects, from ancient mammoth teeth to Royal documents

You can see some of our objects in 3D below

Mammoth Tooth

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A really long time ago, as much as 300,000 years, Jersey wasn't an Island but was part of Northern Europe during what was known as the Old Stone Age

It was a time of hunters and mammoths, which roamed a vast plain, much of which is now covered by the sea that surrounds Jersey today. At St. Brelade is a large cave, known as La Cotte de St. Brelade (which is the Jersey French word for cave), which once formed part of a rocky outcrop above the plain. This is where the hunters, called Neanderthals, would have lived. This would have been a fertile landscape for herd animals like horse, mammoth, and reindeer.

A mammoth would have been about the size of an African elephant, weighing up to 6,000kg.

The Coin Hoard

In the summer of 2012 two men made an amazing discovery in a field in Jersey. Using only their metal detectors, they found a huge pile of about 70,000 ancient coins buried deep underground.

These coins came from the Iron Age and had not been seen or touched for more than 2,000 years. They had been buried for so long that they were all stuck together and had to be lifted out of the ground in one solid lump, with lots of the earth packed around them.

The hoard also contains pieces of beautiful gold and silver jewellery and is the biggest number of ancient coins ever to be found in one place.

Stone Hand Axe

A hand axe (or biface) is a prehistoric stone tool with two faces that is the longest-used tool in human history

It is characteristic of the lower Acheulean and middle Palaeolithic (Mousterian) periods. Its technical name (biface) comes from the fact that a normal model is a generally bifacial Lithic flake and almond-shaped. The most common hand axes have a pointed end and rounded base, which gives them their characteristic shape, and both faces have been ‘knapped’ to remove the natural shape, at least partially.

Hand axe tools were possibly used in the following ways:
1. Butchering hunted or scavenged animals
2. Digging for roots and water
3. Chopping wood and removing tree bark
4. Throwing at prey