Journal of Archaeology in the Low Countries 3-1 (November 2011)Wietske Prummel; Hülya Halici; Annemieke Verbaas: The bone and antler tools from the Wijnaldum-Tjitsma terp 1

9 Conclusions

Fibre and skin processing tools and personal utensils such as combs, pins and rings are the most common bone and antler tools found at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma. Amulets, musical instruments, household utensils and objects associated with transport are present in smaller numbers. Antler was the most common raw material since the Migration period. The antler objects were mainly of red deer antler, but some elk antler was also used. Cattle, sheep, pig, horse, whale and whooper or mute swan bones were used to make tools (table 2).

Whereas fibre and skin processing tools were used at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma in all periods, combs, pins, rings, beads and objects associated with transport were unknown in the Roman period. Amulets are well represented at this terp in the Roman period and are more common than at contemporary terpen. Apart from the amulets, the Roman period bone and antler assemblage at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma is similar to that at contemporary terpen, although fibre and skin working tools are better represented in these terpen than at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma. A unique find is a sieve, a utensil which possibly belonged to a rather rich household, perhaps a precursor of the later high status of the terp.

New inhabitants occupied Wijnaldum-Tjitsma in the Migration period. They introduced personal utensils made of bone and antler, such as combs, pins, rings and beads, and object associated with transport across the ice. Although personal utensils such as combs were found at other terpen, they were particularly numerous at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma in the Migration, Merovingian, Carolingian and Ottonian periods (table 7).

The tuning pin, box, spoons, decorative plates, handle and checkers die are remarkable finds from the Migration, Merovingian and Carolingian periods at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma. These objects are rarely found in other terpen. They are considered as indicators for elite inhabitants at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma in the Merovingian and Carolingian periods. The bone and antler tools, metal and glass objects confirm the elite status of the terp inhabitants during these periods.

Amulets, which were common in the Roman period at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma, were found in small numbers at the site in the Migration, Merovingian and Carolingian periods. They were perhaps mainly used as grave goods, as is indicated by similar finds at the cemeteries at Oosterbeintum (table 7), Hogebeintum and Driesumerterp (Knol 1987; Knol 1988; Knol et al. 1996) and in the Migration period inhumation burial at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma. Amulets are completely lacking in the Ottonian period, perhaps because of the introduction of Christianity, which banned divination and magical acts, and thus the use of these objects.

The antler and bone waste shows that some bone and antler were worked on site during the Roman, Migration, Merovingian and Carolingian periods. It was, however, never an extensive activity at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma (table 1). Some bone and antler tools were perhaps acquired in their finished form.