Experiments with bone and antler

Bone and antler certainly belonged to basic raw materials of a Stone Age. They were used to make tools of everyday use, but also weapons and objects of ritual or magical character. In some cases, they were used also as building materials or fuels. 

Experiments concerning bone and antlers performed by members of the Society for Experimental Prehistoric Archaeology can be divide into two parts. The first one contains experiments aiming at reconstruction of techniques of treatment of both materials with the use of stone and organic tools. The second part contains experiments with replicas of bone and antler artefacts. Both types of experiments are indirectly subordinated to use wear research. 

Experiments relating to reconstruction of bone and antlers treatment techniques in the Stone Age aims mostly at reconstruction of methods of softening. Members of SEPA pursue research on softening bones and antlers with the use of: soaking and boiling in water, soaking in natural acids (obtained from sorrel and milk). In the nearest future we want to realize also experiments with other methods (soaking in lye or ash, water with ash, oil and also soaking in urine and heating of bone/antler over fire). 

The experiments with bone and antler tools cover also research on their usefulness in treatment of organic and inorganic materials. Tools made of both materials are in addition employed in experiments with thrown weapons and related to earthworks.