Bone cup

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From Sty Wick Bay, Sanday, Orkney

Postcard of Bone cup.
© National Museums Scotland

Bone cup

This bone cup was found at Sty Wick Bay on Sanday in Orkney. It was used sometime between 3100 and 2400 BC.

The cup was made from a vertebra (a segment of the spinal column) of a fish or sea mammal such as a dolphin or whale. It is damaged on the rim.

The convenient shapes and qualities of some animal bones made them ideal for certain kinds of objects and ornaments. Some parts needed little or no modification to produce objects, as in this case.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-038-018-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.GA 1020
Date: Between 3100 and 2400 BC
Material: Bone, cetacean
Dimensions: 4.38" H; mouth 3.88" x 3.63" D
What: Cup
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Sanday, Sty Wick Bay
Description: Cup of cetacean bone from Sty Wick Bay, Sanday
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