VN-7 bone

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Classification: handle
Material: bone
Size: length: 3 cm, width: 1 cm, height: 9 mm
Condition: fragmentary, restored, damaged
Date: 3rd–1st centuries BC
Date derived from: archaeological context

Site: Schluderns / Sluderno (Bozen / Bolzano, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy)
Field name: Ganglegg
Archaeological context: settlement
(Objects: VN-7 bone, VN-8 bone, VN-9 bone point, VN-10 bone, VN-11 bone point, VN-12 bone point, VN-13 bone, VN-16 bone point, VN-17 bone, VN-18 bone point, VN-19 bone)
Coordinates (approx.): 46° 40' 18.23" N, 10° 35' 18.96" E
Find date: between 1989 and 1992
Find circumstances: excavation
Current location: Vintschger Museum / Museo della Val Venosta (on exhibition)
Inventory Nr.: unknown


Sources: Lunz 1991c: 14–15
Schumacher 1994: 313–314 [No. 1.4], fig. 4



Bone cylinder.
Animal bone, from a foreleg of a sheep (Ovis orientalis aries) or a goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) (cp. Gamper 2006: 142). Broken in different pieces, but restored these days; both ends splintered broken; fragmentary. Calcined in black by an ancient fire, state of preservation comparable with other bone findings from the Ganglegg hill incorporated in the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum with VN-3 bone, VN-14 bone, VN-17 bone. Round cross section; smoothed surface.
The above-mentioned dimensions result of the autopsy by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum. Schumacher indicates a length of about 3.5 cm (cp. Schumacher 1994: 313). Marchesini notes: "Lungh 3,5 cm; spess 1 cm ca." (cp. MLR: 218).
On one side an inscription which is incomplete due to the fragmentary state of the bone piece. On the other side also characters. Because of the fractures also parts missing.
The bone fragment goes back to the old findings by Karl Pohl and Karl Wieser made between 1989 and 1992 (cp. Gamper 2006: 142. On fig. 76 the old findings related to perforated bones made by Pohl and Wieser were displayed. Fig. 76.8 indicates the present bone.). However further find circumstances unknown and/or not anymore reconstructable.
According to the major part of the findings on the Ganglegg hill the bone fragment dates to 3rd–1st centuries BC (cp. Gamper & Steiner 1999: 50–51).
The bone piece was first published by Reimo Lunz who published a part of the findings made by Pohl and Wieser in 1991 (cp. Schumacher 1994: 309, 313, fn. 3, fn. 7).
Probably the bone was used as handle of a key, a knife or another tool. Comparative examples made of antler or bone and used as handle in the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum are i.a.: FI-1 antler, NO-4 antler, SZ-32 antler, VN-17 bone, WE-3 antler.
In the recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions by Marchesini the bone piece is listed with "MLR 248", an autopsy was not effected. The object is here indicated with inventory number "88-35". Cp. MLR: 218 [MLR 248]. The inventory number of the fragmentary bone could not be verified by the autopsy by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum until this the object was kept in the repository of the museum. Now the bone piece is exposed in the permanent exhibition.
Autopsied by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum in September 2014.



Gamper 2006 Peter Gamper, Die latènezeitliche Besiedlung am Ganglegg in Südtirol. Neue Forschungen zur Fritzens-Sanzeno-Kultur [= Internationale Archäologie 91], Rahden/Westfalen: Leidorf 2006.
Gamper & Steiner 1999 Peter Gamper, Hubert Steiner, Das Ganglegg bei Schluderns. Eine befestigte bronze- und eisenzeitliche Siedlung im oberen Vinschgau, Bozen: Athesia 1999.