Sign up for e-News Donate
Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Workshop – Bone and Antler Tools

December 15, 2016

Pammel Creek - Feature 139In one feature at the Pammel Creek site, dumped into a layer only 10 cm thick, we found bone and antler, the tools for working them, the “blanks” or roughed out items, and finished pieces.  This is a very dense concentration of materials used in the process of working bone and antler.  We can suggest that Feature 139 contains the debris from a specialized workshop for making bone and antler tools.

No other feature at the site contained this much worked antler.  In other features, there were few fragments of the raw antler from which the ornaments were produced.  We can speculate that the manufacture of these items may have been conducted by one individual or household because so much of the debris is concentrated in one feature.

The context of this material was critical to its understanding.  Without knowing where this material came from, it’s just fragments of cut bone.

The Pammel Creek site is located south of La Crosse, Wisconsin.