Antler and Bone Handles





Boneknifehandle Socketed antler and bone for a variety of tools were made by hollowing out the center portion of an antler or removing one end of a bone.  The process may have begun by drilling the solid core using the sand and cane method or by using a stone drill before to hollow out the core of an antler and finishing the hole to fit the intended tool.  The removal of the end of a deer cannon bone worked well as the bone was already hollow.  Webb (1951) recovered 5 antler handles at the Henry Island site in Alabama that dated primarily to the Middle Woodland period, but most of the handle material from the 26 sites excavated by Webb contained bone handles.  There were certainly hundreds of wooden or other types of handles that did not survive the years in the soil.

One example of an antler handle was recovered at the Modoc Rock Shelter site, zones 2 and 3 that dated between 8,219 and 5325 years B.P. 

Keel, Bennie C.

                1934       Cherokee Archaeology A Study of the Appalachian Summit, University of Tennessee Press