Bone pin

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From Jarlshof, Shetland

Postcard of Bone pin.
© National Museums Scotland

Bone pin

This bone pin is one of a number found at Jarlshof in Shetland. It was used as a dress pin or hairpin, sometime between 850 and 1100.

The slightly curved pin has a baluster head. It is polished smooth.

Bone pins are common finds from Viking settlements in Britain and Scandinavia, reflecting their common use as dress pins to fasten clothing together or as hairpins. They come in a range of sizes and styles, some quite elaborate.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-042-250-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.HSA 12
Date: Between 850 and 1000
Material: Bone; thistle head
What: Pin, dress / hairpin
Where: Scotland, Shetland, Sumburgh, Jarlshof
Description: Dress pin or hairpin of bone with a baluster head, from Jarlshof
  • Hamilton, J.R.C. Excavations at Jarlshof, Shetland. Edinburgh: Ministry of Works, Archaeological Reports 1, 1956, p 125. 
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