Probably dealt with elsewhere, but they are so-called 'pinners' bones', and
the pins were laid in the grooves, secured by a wire binding, and then
sharpened. Long and tedious process, as so many in the good old days.....
> From: Gail Boyle[SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Reply To: British archaeology discussion list
> Sent: 25 April 2001 09:47
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Pins & bones
> Hello out there!
> Some help required if possible on references to animal bones used as part
> of the copper-alloy pin-making process ( early post-med?). We have several
> of these bones in our collections labelled as such, but I'm unsure as to
> how they actually contributed to the process - they are described as being
> used in the process of sharpening newly made pins. The bones are all
> metatarsal bones from cattle - butchered at one end into a square section
> with grooves cut lengthwise into each side ( all appropriately stained
> - I think.....that the ends of the pins were laid into the grooves and
> then filed across to produce a sharp point. Am I correct? Has anyone done
> any research on these?
> Any help much appreciated
> Gail Boyle
> Bristol Museum