Archaeology/knife

Advertisement


Question
Front of Knife
Front of Knife  

Back of Knife
Back of Knife  
Attached are a few pictures of a bone knife that has been in my family for years. I have searched the Internet for a few years  trying to find out some information about this knife. I have not had any luck.  I am hoping that you might be able to tell me something about this knife.  It is made from a bone and that is all I know and it is very old. Any information would be so appreciated.

Answer
Hi Kimberly,

It has some interesting elements.  First of all it is made of some kind of bovine bone, cow, steer, ox something like that.  It was probably made by a slave for use in and around their home as metal was expensive and some slave owners did not allow their property to own knives.  The motif is some what African in nature which why I believe it is slave made but the details are not strong enough to identify a tribal afiliation which also leads me to believe that this may have been made by a slave perhaps 2nd generation from one brought over.  Given the ware on the blade, it was used and heavily. Knives would have had many uses during this time frame.  It is at least 150 years old and perhaps as much as 250 years old.  

Archaeology

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Ralph Salier

Expertise

Archaeologist for the last 30 years. Norh American generalist and Hopwell culture/Red Ocher culture specifically. Lithics Expert and Ground Stone tools.

Experience


Past/Present clients
Numerous museums in US and Canada. Several University Anthropology Departments.

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.