Artefacts from Bosta Iron Age village

The excavations of the late Iron Age village produced a variety of bones and amongst the objects that survived was a particularly fine collection of worked bone from deer antler, animal, whale and even bird.


The function of some of the artefacts is obvious while others are more of a puzzle and some are broken or incomplete. Evidence from the surviving bone clearly shows that bone working was carried out on site and it’s likely that the finer pieces eg combs and pins was the work of specialist craftsmen.

A small sample of those objects are on display in Bernera museum and include:

Bpins2one pins. A large number of such pins were found on the site. They date from between the 6th and 8th century AD – similar pins are found at the same time on sites throughout Atlantic Scotland. They are often highly polished with a swelling or ‘hip’ halfway down the shaft. They were probably used as dress pins to fasten such items of clothing as cloaks and perhaps also as hair pins.

 

 

Antler combs such as this are found on late Iron Age sites comb-21throughout Atlantic Scotland, dating from the 5th to the 8th centuries AD. The finely decorated examples were probably prestige items – demonstrating the wealth and status of the owner.

 

 

 

Worked whalebone. What this object, with its multiple perforations, was used for is not known (but we welcome comments)

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