Bonetool of the Month Archives

January 2017

bta 2017 01 skates hungary1

 bta 2017 01 skates hungary2  bta 2017 01 skates hungary3
Photos: Alice Choyke

Winter time in the Northern hemisphere, time to go out for sports! For instance, skating with some bone skates. The ones shown above are made out of horse metacarpi and have been found in the Late Bronze Age Urnfield culture settlement of Törökbálint near Budapest in Hungary. Apart from being early finds they show some rather elaborate and unusual modifications (Choyke & Bartosiewicz 2005, 320; Choyke & Schibler 2007, 58-59, fig. 11).

Alice Choyke & Hans Christian Küchelmann


Choyke, Alice M. & Bartosiewicz, Laszlo (2005): Skating with Horses: continuity and parallelism in prehistoric Hungary. – Revue de Paléobiologie spéc. 10, 317-326
Choyke, Alice M. & Schibler, Jörg (2007): Prehistoric Bone Tools and the Archaeozoological Perspective: Research in Central Europe. in: Gates St-Pierre, Christian & Walker, Renee B. (eds.): Bones as Tools: Current Methods and Interpretations in Worked Bone Studies, British Archaeological Reports International Series 1622, 51-65, Oxford
Küchelmann, Hans Christian & Zidarov, Petar (2001-2016): Bone Skates Database

December 2016

bta 2016 12 tallinn fork

This bone fork and handle have been found 2011 at the site 1 Tartu Road in the suburb of Tallinn, Estonia. The layer in which the artefacts were found is dated to the 17th–18th centuries. The fork is decorated with circle and dot motif and the handle with a net ornament inlaid with thin bronze wire.

Ulla Kadakas & Heidi Luik

November 2016

bta 2016 11 rosary portugal
Photo: Hans Christian Küchelmann

A rosary displayed in the Archaeological Crypt of the Castle Alcácer do Sal in Portugal (inv. no. 524).

Hans Christian Küchelmann

October 2016

bta 2016 10 carved skull 
This months worked bone object is a carved skull of a water buffalo (Bubalus arnee) found in 2015 by Eva David used as a decorative item in the display window of a jewelry shop in Southern France.

September 2016

 bta 2016 09 comb castillejos

Bone comb from Los Castillejos (Peñas de los Gitanos, Montefrío, Granada, Spain). Early Copper Age (3300-3000 cal BC). Made of a split cattle rib. Abrasion for shaping and grooving to make the teeth.

Manuel Altamirano