8.4 Carolingian and Ottonian periods
A perforated piece of red deer antler was found in a Carolingian or Ottonian feature at Hallum (Buitenhuis 2009). The bone tools from the Carolingian period at Leeuwarden-Oldehoofsterkerkhof are an unfinished needle made of a sheep or pig bone, a dice made of a sheep metatarsus, three skates (two of horse metacarpi and one of a horse tibia) and antler production waste. A horse metatarsus skate and a polished unknown type of tool (Prummel 2011) date to the Ottonian or later phase. No bone or antler tools were found in the Carolingian phase at Anjum-Terpsterweg. However, a side plate from an antler composite comb was found in an undated feature (Prummel & Van Gent 2010).
Bone working in the Carolingian period at Wierum is attested to by several sawn proximal and distal horse and cattle metapodia and radius ends and by a sawn horse mandible (Prummel 2006). Comb fragments made of cattle metapodia were found together with masses of waste, identical to that in Wierum, at the Tolweg-Zuid/Kinkhornsterweg terp (province of Groningen), together with cattle mandible debitage from the manufacture of spindle whorls (Prummel et al. 1999). The Tolweg-Zuid/Kinkhorsterweg finds, which date to the 12th-14th centuries, make it plausible that the Wierum sawn fragments are waste from composite comb production and perhaps spindle whorls.
The use and the diversity of the bone and antler tools at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma during the Migration, Merovingian, Carolingian and Ottonian periods was much more extensive than at any of the contemporaneous terpen. Several of the objects found at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma, for instance musical instruments and household utensils, were either not found in other terpen or very rare, for example personal utensils (table 7). We may conclude that a more prominent society lived at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma during the Early Middle Ages, and perhaps already during the Migration period, than at the other terpen.