Events concerned with boneworking and related subjects.
Contributions are welcome.
Please submit any dates to Hans Christian Küchelmann.


16. 2. 2019
“Messer im Griff – Wir schnitzen einen Messergriff aus Knochen oder Geweih”
Workshop Museum Jagdschloss Kranichstein, Darmstadt, Germany

30. 3. 2019
“Kämme selbst schnitzen aus Geweih oder Knochen”
Workshop Museum Jagdschloss Kranichstein, Darmstadt, Germany

13th meeting of the ICAZ Worked Bone Research Group (WBRG)
Montreal, Canada


Multilingual lexicon of bone industries

  • Version 2 (2016): French, English, Deutsch, Dansk, Español, Italiano, Português, Român, Bulgarian, Polski, Russian, Magyar
    GDRE Prehistos Archaeological Studies 2
  • Version 1 (2010): Francais, English, Italiano, Español
    GDRE Prehistos Archaeological Studies 1

Message published 8. 9. 2018.

Project announcement:
Wood, Bone, Ivory, Horn, Shell. Crafts marginal or crafts marginalized?

Wooden objects and hard materials of animal origin constitute a material that tend to be buried in appendices of publications concerned with the Iron Age. However, there are numerous assemblages that suggest that their presence was an important part of daily life and as well for the afterlife. More such objects and better preserved ones tend to be found in cemeteries.

– The methodology proposed in this project includes: typological classification, functional classification, taxonomic identification, context and, if possible, reconstruction of the “chaîne opératoire”. This data set is tied to a standard record database to be published on-line in a similar way to previous projects (

Isotopic analysis on ivory objects is also proposed to learn the origin of this raw material in this context and improve understanding of recognized exchange networks in recent prehistory. 14C dating will also be carried out in particular cases. Iconographic analysis will be used as a complementary source to help us understand the symbolism of the pieces that bore certain images.

– The ultimate goal will be to study the role played by these various objects in daily life, learning about the artisans who produced them in workshops by studying the details of the craft-working (the technological aspects) as well as the people who used these objects and gave them value as commodities by taking into account the contexts of discovery.

In some cases, it is possible to isolate individual objects that reveal aspects of functionality, symbolism information about resources in terms of the taxonomic identification of the raw materials including raw materials such as ivory which came from outside the immediate region and other raw materials used to manufacture tools which arrived in the area from very far away and testify to the existence of long-distance trade relations.

The first results are now available. The review of hard materials of animal origin from La Covalta (Albaida, Valencia) conducted by Marta Blasco directly targeted 47 objects made from bone, antler and ivory (pins, that is hair pins or acus crinalis and awls). There were some half-finished and remains of manufacturing waste among these objects. They represent the first research on the worked bone remains to be studied from a fourth century BC settlement on the Iberian Peninsula.

The research team consists of: Consuelo Mata (Universitat de València), Elena Grau (Universitat de València), Lucía Soria (Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha),  Virginia Page (Museo de Arqueología Ibérica El Cigarralejo) and Marta Blasco (Universitat de València).

Consuelo Mata

news covalta hairpin
Hairpin (acus crinalis) from La Covalta, Albaida, Valencia (photo: Valencia Prehistory Museum).

Message published 6. 1. 2015.

Huesos trabajados Mexico
Gilberto Pérez Roldán of the Laboratorio de Arqueozoología de la Universidad Autónoma de San Luis Potosí, Mexico has created a blog on Mexican bone tools. Access and contact via the following links:


Message published mid 2014.

Proposal for a new
Zooarchaeology and Bone Technology Interest Group (ZBTIG)
for the Society for American Archaeology (SAA)

Lisa Dugas is soliciting signatures from colleagues who would be interested in participating in a new working group on zooarchaeology and bone technology within the Society for American Archaeology.

It will be a free group that will meet once a year at the SAA meeting to exchange information about zooarchaeology and bone technology research and issues. The group will hopefully be approved by the SAA in 2012 and begin operating in 2013. A primary goal of the group is to broaden the dialogue – both within the SAA community and globally with the various groups interested in these topics.

Lisa Dugas has provided a simple form to sign that says you are an SAA member and plan to participate in the group. You can access the form via Bone Commons.

Message published 19. 1. 2012.

Book Proposal: Osseous Projectile Technology

Michelle C. Langley (Institute of Archaeology, University of Oxford) is working on a book on the above mentioned topic to be published at Cambridge University Press.

The edited volume shall focus on highlighting the range and diversity of Pleistocene osseous projectile weaponry. The volume would aim at contributing to a greater understanding of Pleistocene cultural variability through the drawing together of information about these implements from various Pleistocene contexts around the world.

The volume shall contain chapters focused on:
•    Early – Late Stone Age Africa
•    Lower – Middle Palaeolithic Eurasia
•    Upper Palaeolithic (Aurignacian, Solutrean, Gravettian, Magdalenian etc.) Eurasia
•    Paleo-Indian America
•    Pleistocene Asia and Australasia

The aim of each chapter would be to outline the spatial and temporal similarities and differences in point manufacture, style/form, hafting method, use methods, associated osseous weaponry (spearthrowers etc), and decoration in each context. Drawing this information together in a collective whole will enable a clear understanding of how varied this technology was during this extensive period, and therefore contribute to a wider narrative on the cultural variability of this period.

Anybody interested in contributing a chapter (ca. 6000 words) to this volume, please contact Michelle C. Langley. Michelle hopes to be finalising chapters and authors over the next couple of months – at which time she would require a short (200 word) abstract and working title for the final book proposal. Chapters themselves would not be due until the end of 2012 (if the proposal is successful).

Message published 14. 1. 2012.