Introduction and Methods
A total of 10 bone needles from Wijnaldum-Tjitsma were analysed at the Laboratory for Artefact Studies, Leiden University with the aim of shedding light on manufacture, residue and wear. The selection consists of six complete needles (of which three are broken, but all pieces are present), one fragment of a bone needle, two pins and one unidentified object. All needles were analyzed using a Nikon SMZ I2 and a Wild Periplan stereomicroscope (magnifications 6,5 to 160x) and a Nikon Optiphot metallographic microscope (magnifications 100-300x). Photographs were taken with a Nikon Fi1 digital camera. The stereomicroscope gives a general overview of traces of manufacture and wear. The metallographic microscope gives a more detailed view of the wear and facilitates a more detailed interpretation of the traces present. The needles did not need any cleaning as no dirt or sediment was present. All needles and their wear traces were well preserved.
It should be stressed that if an object was used for a long time on different materials only the last use or uses would be visible in the use wear. Obviously this will depend on the sequence, but generally the traces from the last contact material supercede the existing traces of wear. For example, if a needle is used with leather for a short period of time and is subsequently used with plant fibres for a long time, usually only the traces from contact with plant fibres would still be visible.