4.5.2 Bone and Antler Working

Mesolithic shell middens provide the best evidence for the manufacture and use of bone and antler tools. While some of the workmanship was fairly straightforward, the making of other objects, such as points, required more time and skill. Experimental work by Steven Birch investigated possible manufacturing processes and, by combining these investigations with the microscopic analysis of artefacts, he was able to provide useful insights into possible techniques (Birch 2009a). The pioneering study of residues on bone tools undertaken by the Scotland’s First Settlers project on material from at Sand (Case Study Sand) and Loch a’Sguirr also provided some hints into different on aspects of production (ScARF Palaeolithic and Mesolithic section 5.2.2, Hardy 2009).


Case Study: Sand