6.3 Merovingian period
This phase is very rich in processed bone and antler. Fibre and skin production is attested to by numerous tools (tables 1 and 4). Antler combs are common in this phase. The only complete one-sided composite comb is of type 2, with wide, curved side plates and non-extended end tooth plates. In this phase pendants and astragali were used as amulets. A checker is related to leisure activities, as is a flute made from a whooper or a mute swan ulna and perhaps a sawn cattle costa. Skating for leisure or transport is attested to by several skates and bone tips.
Household utensils are quite numerous in this phase. This may be an indication of rich and well-supplied households. The only two spoons found at Wijnaldum-Tjitsma come from this period. One was made out of antler (fig. 29), the other from the frontal bone of a calf foetus or neonatus. The bone was cut in a round shape (fig. 30, suggesting use as a spoon. Calf foetus cranial bones are regularly found in terpen, for instance in the early medieval phase at the of Birdaard-Roomschotel terp (Grefhorst & Prummel 2010). However, a worked and used frontal bone from a calf foetus is unique. Spoons were not found in any other terp (see below) and may have been prestigious objects, only used in rich households in this period. Silver spoons were found in the Sutton Hoo and Prittlewell burials, which also contained lyres (Carver et al. 2005, figs 88 and 99, table 21; Hirst 2004, 28-29). A decorated cattle bone plate was possibly used as inlaid decoration of furniture. A handle made from red deer antler was intended for a knife or another tool. A sawn cattle horn core shows that cattle horn was processed. Two antler waste pieces indicate antler working during this period.