Bonetool of the Month Archives

March 2016

bta 2016 03 gazella hook1  bta 2016 03 gazella hook2  bta 2016 03 gazella hook3
bta 2016 03 olturot hut
Fotos: Attila D. Sándor
These antelope / gazelle limbs are used as hooks inside huts among the Samburu and Turkana people of North Kenya. The examples were used in 2012 and 2014 in the Village of Olturot.

Attila D. Sándor

February 2016

 bta 2016 02 wismar1  bta 2016 02 wismar3
bta 2016 02 wismar4
Fotos: Landesarchäologie Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

These gaming pieces and dice were found during underwater excavations at two sites in the bay of Wismar, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. The tokens are made of red deer antler (Cervus elaphus), the dice are made of bone. The diameter of the the tokens is 54-58 mm, their height 5-9 mm. They were elaborately manufactured and decorated with ring motifs using a lathe and show traces of intensive use (Lehmkuhl & Schäfer 2005, 363, Abb. 6).

The tokens and dice in the upper row were found 1998 inside a wreck (Wismarbucht, Fundplatz 6). The ship was discovered heavily fragmented in shallow water  at ca. 1,5 m depth, it was apparently broken up with most of the content and building material removed already in historical times. The ship's wood was cut in the area of Riga, Latvia, in the year 1476 (dated by dendrochronology). The vessel was an approximately 18 m long freight ship of the type Kollerup-Bremen and has probably been a Hanseatic trader. The gaming pieces were found in the wreck, but the exact position within the ship is not recorded.
The token in the lower row was rocovered 1996 during an archaeological survey in the Wismar harbour area at a roadstead site (Wismarbucht, Fundplatz 2). It was probably an item that has been fallen or thrown over board together with other ships waste found at the site.

Mike Belasus & Christian Küchelmann

Lehmkuhl, Ursula (2005): Die Rohstoffe Knochen, Geweih und Horn und ihre Nutzung. in: Jöns, Hauke / Lüth, Friedrich / Schäfer, Heiko (eds.): Archäologie unter dem Straßenpflaster – 15 Jahre Stadtkernarchäologie in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 273-278, Schwerin
Lehmkuhl, Ursula & Schäfer, Heiko (2005): Spiele für Jung und Alt. in: Jöns, Hauke / Lüth, Friedrich / Schäfer, Heiko (eds.): Archäologie unter dem Straßenpflaster – 15 Jahre Stadtkernarchäologie in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 361-364, Schwerin

January 2016

bta 2016 01 azuer  

Pointed caprine tibia from Motilla del Azuer (Daimiel, Ciudad Real, Spain). Middle Bronze Age (ca. 1800-1600 BC). The tibial tuberosity was obliterated using fracturing and then the edges were abraded to regularize them, preserving half of the distal epiphysis. It is a very characteristic tool for the Bronze Age of La Mancha and Levantine regions in the Iberian Peninsula.

Manuel Altamirano

December 2015

This month we would like to show four bone and antler bracelets from around the world and from different time periods as examples of parallelism.

bta 2015 12 bracelet china2

bta 2015 12 bracelet china1
Bone bracelet
Excavated from Duzhong Site, Mianchi County, Henan Province, China; Neolithic, late Yangshao Culture along Yellow River, 5000-3000 BC.
Contributed and photographed by Hou Yanfeng.
bta 2015 12 bracelets canada
Bone bracelet
Two Iroquoian armbands. The one on top comes from a private collection and was probably found on a Neutral site; the one at the bottom is from the Draper site, a Late Pre-Contact Huron village site. The artifacts shown are from the collections of the Canadian Museum of History.
Contributed and photographed by Christian Gates St. Pierre.
bta 2015 12 bracelet swiss
Antler bracelet
Final Neolithic, Pfyner Culture lake-dwelling site of Arbon-Bleiche 3 (3284-3370 BC) in the Kanton Thurgau on Lake Constance in Switzerland.
Contributed by Sabine Deschler-Erb.
bta 2015 12 bracelet hu1 bta 2015 12 bracelet hu3
Antler bracelet
Late Roman cemetery of Gazdagrét in Budapest, Hungary, woman’s grave. The bracelet is held in the Aquincum Museum, Budapest
Contributed and photographed by Alice Choyke.

November 2015

bta 2015 11 covalta hairpin

Decorative bone pins from the Oppidum of Covalta (Albaida-Agres; Valencia-Alicante; Spain), Iberian Period (V – III centuries BC) now stored in the Museum of Prehistory of Valencia (Spain). These objects could be used as hair pins in the same way as the Roman acus crinalis.

Above: Bone pin with zoomorphic head, ornamented with incisions and moldings.
Below: Set of nineteen pins of different sizes and with a variety of heads and decorations.

Marta Blasco Martin

bta 2015 11 covalta pins