Bone awl or piercing tool

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From Skara Brae, Orkney

Postcard of Bone awl or piercing tool.
© National Museums Scotland

Bone awl or piercing tool

This bone awl or piercing tool was found at the site of the Neolithic village of Skara Brae in Orkney. It was used sometime between 3100 and 2400 BC.

The object, made from an animal bone, has been highly polished and decorated with incised chevrons.

The settlement of Skara Brae was buried in sand, thus preserving buildings to a large height and a range of every-day objects. All walls and furnishings were of stone, since little wood was available in Orkney. Bone was used for a range of objects.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-040-197-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.HA 329
Date: Between 3100 and 2400 BC
Material: Bone; one side decorated with incised chevrons; highly polished
Dimensions: 134.60 mm L
What: Awl
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Skaill, Skara Brae
Description: Awl made from a metapoidal bone, highly polished and decorated with incised chevrons, from Skara Brae, Orkney
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