As so often happens, artefacts end up scattered across different locations; some on display, some in storage and some in private collections. The highlights of Victoria Cave have now been digitally reunited in this Virtual Museum.

From Ice Age elephants to mysterious Roman ‘spoons’, excavations at Victoria Cave have produced remarkable evidence of changing environments and human occupation over the last 600,000 years.

Over the years, the collection dispersed across different locations, including Manchester Museum, Yorkshire Museum, Saffron Walden Museum and a private home. By making digital copies, the highlights have now been reunited and made publicly accessible right here in this Virtual Museum thanks to our willing team of Venturers.


What’s inside the Victoria Cave Virtual Museum?

Excavations at Victoria Cave have uncovered over 3,000 artefacts, the highlights of which can now be found inside the Virtual Museum. These include the artefacts that best illustrate the story of Victoria Cave through the ages, and those that can most benefit from continued research.

Among them are Ice Age predators, and long-extinct mega-fauna, dating back 125,000 years to a time when Yorkshire was a tropical landscape.

There’s also evidence of the first humans and animals to return to northern Britain after the last glaciers retreated nearly 15,000 years ago, as well many of the offerings left by a Romano-British cave cult who re-opened the cave thousands of years later.

How To Use The Virtual Artefacts

The virtual artefacts are available to everyone to view and study for free. They’re so accurate that when we asked zooarchaeologists to identify the bones, they were able to do so with 100% success.

Each virtual artefact is annotated so that you can see where it fits into the story of Yorkshire’s hidden past, but there is plenty more information available too.

Each one links to its official archive record, which will tell you more about the artefact, including where it was found inside Victoria Cave, which you can also explore in 3D.

You can skip directly to the archive here, or just browse the Virtual Museum to see more artefacts from the period you’re interested in.

If you’d like to download copies of any of the virtual artefacts for further study, to display offline, or to use for 3D printing, just email

Making the Virtual Artefacts

All of the artefacts in the Under the Uplands Virtual Museum were made using photogrammetry: the same technique used by Project Mosul, the British Museum and the Met Museum to create 3D models or ‘virtual artefacts’ that are so accurate it’s like being able to hold the objects in your hands. This method involves taking lots of photos of each artefact from different angles, and stitching them together using a piece of software.

Not only does this provide an easily accessible digital archive of the material, but also reunites a collection of finds which is otherwise dispersed.

Try it yourself!

The instructions used during the training workshops with volunteers are now freely available in the Library.

If you’d like to learn more, or even help us to make new virtual artefacts to add to the museum, email