Bonetool Archives 2012

December 2012

Contemporary walrus ivory, spermwhale tooth and reindeer antler carvings from a private collection in Kangaamiut, West Greenland.
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 Photos: Kerstin Pasda, July 2012.


November 2012


Spindle whorls from the final Chalcolithic levels at the tell of Arslantepe in Eastern Turkey. The spindle whorls were found in concentrations in rooms of a monumental building. They are made from the caput of femora of domestic cattle.

Alice Choyke

October 2012

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Bone arrowheads excavated from sites in Henan Province, China.
Left and Middle: Duzhong, Mianchi County, Neolithic, late Yangshao Culture (5000-3000BC), inv. no. 06MDH26B1-1+2.
Right: Chenjiagou, Wenxian County, Bronze Age, Xizhou Dynasty (1045-771BC), inv. no. 2005JWZCT23H111:3.Photos and information: Hou Yanfeng

September 2012

Photo: Küchelmann
Chair consisting of nine pieces of whale ribs as back and arm rests and a scapula as seat. The scarce available information makes it probable that the chair was once given as a present by the Sultan of Zanzibar to captain Valois of the ship SMS Gneisenau in 1891.
The chair is part of the collection of the Senckenberg Institut Frankfurt and currently on display at the Wattenmeerhaus Wilhelmshaven.
Height 1,14 m, width 0,86 m, depth 0,84m.

Redman, Nicholas (2009): Whales’ Bones of Germany, Austria, Czech Republic & Switzerland, page 95, Teddington

August 2012

These telescopes, five in total, have been found by the Office for Monuments and Archaeology (Bureau Monumenten & Archeologie, BMA) in the city of Amsterdam at different sites. The telescopes are dated to the 18th century and were used as pocket telescopes for personal use. The raw material were cattle metatarsals and in two telescopes the glass lenses were still intact. The longer telescopes consists of two pieces with an aperture stop in the middle to get a sharper view.

Rijkelijkhuizen, Marloes J. (2011): Bone telescopes from Amsterdam. – Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 3(1/2), 107-114

July 2012

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Inuit seal carving from Nome, Alaska, made from walrus ivory (21st century).

June 2012

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Carved object from Kano, Nigeria, made from an ungulate metapodial.

May 2012

Three bone hairpins from Henan province, China.
 Chenjiagou, Wenxian County • Xizhou Dynasty, Bronze Age, 1045-771 BC.

Duzhong, Mianchi County • Late Yangshao Culture, Neolithic, 5000-3000 BC.

Hou Yanfeng

April 2012

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The fishhook is made from a fragment of a diaphysis of a terrestrial mammal, probably a South-American camelid. It has a pointed distal end and oval transversal cross-section. There are clear marks of shafting. It was recovered from the Cobija-1N site (Northern Chile), in the bottom layer dated to Cal AD 1240 to 1300 (Cal BP 700 to 650) and Cal AD 1370 to 1380 (Cal BP 580 to 570) (Late Period).
These kinds of composite fishhook are common at the Northern Chilean coast, with a temporal spread from ca. 6.000 a.p. (middle Archaic period) until the Spanish Conquest (after 1541).Measurements (in mm):
Maximum length: 44,2
Mxximum breadth: 3,55
Minimum breadth: 1,6
Maximum thickness: 7,8The FONDECYT Research project 1000951. Lab code:  Cob1N-1-C5
Boris Santander Pizarro
Archaeologist, Universidad de Chile

March 2012


Caprine astragalus from Middle Bronze Age levels of Arslantepe, Eastern Turkey.

Alice Choyke

February 2012


Antler belt buckle coming from the Late Bronze Age settlement Baley. The settlement site is located on Timok-Danube confluence where Serbian-Romanian-Bulgarian borders meet. Unfortunately, this piece comes from poor stratigraphic context, but the site itself was occupied between 1600-1100 BC. I was told by Nick Boroffka that one should expect to find parallels to this piece in Bronze Age Hungary, but I couldn’t so far. So, if you have come across a similar piece, please let me know. If you look carefully you will notice elaborate incised design on the outer surface. The piece is on display, so I couldn’t take exact measurements, but it is ca. 10cm long.

Alice Choyke

January 2012

These tools for sewing, knitting and crocheting have been used by my grandmother in the first half of the 20th century in Bremen, northern Germany.

Hans Christian Küchelmann


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