Dead Man's Cave when the site was excavated in 1967 by George Gwynne-Griffiths was found to have Ice Age deposits, indicating that the cave was used for shelter, or as a temporary hunting camp by early man after the ice retreated.
Although there was no evidence of permanent settlement in the cave, excavations uncovered a number of flint blades about 12,000 years old, part of the Late Upper Palaeolithic period. These may have been used for disarticulating prey, or may have been used for other tasks that involved cutting, such as piercing and whittling. Along with these artifacts, George Gwynne-Griffiths also found chips of flint suggesting that flint knapping was taking place. A few fragments of Romano-British pottery were also uncovered. All of these artifacts are now in the care of the Creswell Crags Museum and Visitor Centre near the village of Creswell on the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire border.
Dead Man's Cave is alleged to be named after the discovery of the body of a Worksop man who had been missing for nearly six months lying on a crude mattress inside the cave. It was said to have been around 1965/66, but it is not known how long the body had been in the cave.