3.5.3 Bone and Antler

Tools made of bone and antler would have been common items within the toolkits of Mesolithic South East Scotland. Unfortunately, evidence for their use and manufacture is scarce within the archaeological record and appears restricted to coastal contexts on the fringes of the region.

The carse clays of the Forth have produced a number of antler ‘mattock’ tools, a smoothed whale rib, and a possible stick or handle from Cornton Brickworks (Sloan 1993, 43). Many of these artefacts appear in association with whale skeletons (Smith 1989).

The most spectacular evidence for organic tools to date has been the intact barbed harpoon recovered from the Forth at Blackness (Saville 1996).