Danish Mesolithic Period Antler Pick
Danish Mesolithic Period Antler Pick
The Ertebølle culture, Mesolithic period c. 5400-3950 BC, Denmark
Superb red deer antler pick tool are peat bog found artefact from Denmark. The brow and bez tines with a number of working traces, including chipping and sawing marks. The Ertebølle (also known as Ertebolle or Ellerbek) culture was a Mesolithic culture that flourished in the area around the Limfjord in Northern Jutland from around 5400 to 3950 BC and was replaced the earlier Maglemosian (9000-6400 BC) and Kongemosen culture (6400-5400 BC). The Ertebølle population settled on headlands, near or on beaches, islands and along rivers and bays away from the dense forests. The Ertebølle people mainly lived from fishing, hunting, and gathering.
The Ertebølle hunters most visible remnants are the huge shell heaps that are called kitchen middens, which primarily consist of shells of oysters, picked up from that time colossal oyster beds in the many shallow fjords and straits. The Ertebølle people were masters of inland waters, which they traversed in paddled dugouts. The flint industry evolved a high and unified standard with small and flake axes, adzes, knives, burins, chisels, scrapers, blades and arrow heads. However, tools of many materials were in use, such as wood prongs and points, antler parts, and carved bone tools. Pottery was manufactured from native clays tempered with sand. The Ertebølle culture is also known for its unique burial customs, which included cremation and the placement of objects in graves. Shortly after 4100 BC the Ertebølle began to expand along the Baltic coast at least as for as Rugen. Shortly thereafter it was replaced by the Funnelbeaker culture.
The Ertebølle people hunted large animals for their meat, but other parts of animals were also used. Bones from the animal’s feet, lower forelegs, ribs, shoulder blades, and antlers could also be utilised to make clubs, harpoons, axes and fish spears. Most of their belongings such as harpoons and bone points used as leisters were lost into the lake, buried in cold anaerobic sediments, decay was limited and many were exquisitely preserved, only to be recovered when the peat was cut in the early 20th century.
Gorgeous antler pick are in good condition. Visible cutting and grinding marks. The brow tine is slightly chipped from use but otherwise hardly worn. Age-related wear. Remnants of peat bog. Lovely brownish grey patina. Object is treated with a surface-protecting beeswax layer. Size approx. 27,5cm x 11,0cm x 4,5cm.
Provenance: private collection from Denmark.
References and further reading:
Europe's First Farmers – T. Douglas Price, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Cambridge University Press, 2000 (http://assets.cambridge.org/97805216/62031/ sample/9780521662031ws.pdf)
Inland Ertebølle Culture: the importance of aquatic resources and the freshwater reservoir effect in radiocarbon dates from pottery food crusts, Bente Philippsen & John Meadows, Internet Archaeology (doi:10.11141/ia.37.9)
Prehistoric period (until 1050 AD)/ The Mesolithic period, Nationalmuseet i København (https://en.natmus.dk/historical-knowledge/denmark/prehistoric-period-until-1050-ad/the-mesolithic-period/)
Written in Bones: Studies on technological and social contexts of past faunal skeletal remains, Justyna Baron & Bernadeta Kufel-Diakowska, Institute of Archaeology, University of Wrocław, 2011. (https://archeo.uni.wroc.pl/Instytut-Archeologii/Publikacje/Wydawnictwa-zwarte/Written-in-Bones)
How Bone Technology points to Cultural Lineages in Prehistory? New Insights from Danish Late-and Post-Glacial Weapons’ Heads, Éva David, Lasse Sørensen, Peter Petersen, Open Access Journal of Archaeology and Anthropology, 2022. (https://hal.science/hal-03598512/document)
The shipment will be prepared in the course of 3-5 days and dispatched via Posti Group Oyj or purchased item(s) can be picked up from our shop during the store's opening hours (Tarkk’ampujankatu 4, 00140, Helsinki, Finland). Within the Finland, all items are shipped via Posti Group Oyj unless otherwise requested. We pack the items carefully and mainly in recycled materials because we want to save nature. You will receive the tracking number for your items by e-mail.
Returns and exchange will be accepted within fourteen days (14) of receipt at the purchaser’s cost to include freight and packaging. Items must be returned in the same condition as when they were shipped, and will not be accepted if damaged or altered in any way. Please inform us via email (email@example.com) or by calling +358408408352 before sending. We do not accept returns more than 14 days after delivery.