VN-8 bone

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Classification: bone
Material: bone
Size: length: 13.2 cm, width: 2.5 cm, height: 1.8 cm
Condition: complete, damaged
Archaeological culture: La Tène C, La Tène D
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: probably 1988 or 1993
Find circumstances: excavation (Pohl and Wieser)
Current location: Vintschger Museum / Museo della Val Venosta (on exhibition)
Inventory Nr.: 88–212

Inscription: VN-8 (χarisθu)

Sources: Gamper & Steiner 1999: 48–51, fig. 24.9
Schumacher 1994b: 296–297, fig. 1
Gamper 2006: 142–143, fig. 76.2



Animal bone.
Metatarsus; classification: sheep (Ovis orientalis aries) or goat (Capra aegagrus hircus) (cp. Gamper 2006: 142). Complete; slight splinterings; light brown in colour, smoothed. Twice perforated. According to Gamper there are two variants of the perforated bones found on the Ganglegg hill: Type 1 presents one drilled through perforation near the spherical head of the bone and one not drilled through perforation near the bone socket whereas Type 2 has two drilled through perforations, one near the spherical head and one near the bone socket (cp. Gamper 2006: 142). The present bone belongs to the first variant.
The above-mentioned dimensions result of the autopsy by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum.
Sidewise, on the proximal articular surface near the not drilled through perforation an inscription of which the first part presents the genitive of the Raetic individual name χari.
A comparable inscription can be seen on a fragmentary bone also found on the Ganglegg hill (cp. Gamper 2006: 156, fig. 85.12). The bone was part of the fill layer and the overlying humus layer of house H'. According the drawing by Gamper the fragmentary bone bears the inscription: χaris Þ3 su where the character Þ3 s seems to be incomplete. This bone was not traceable in the Vintschger Museum / Museo della Val Venosta therefore an incorporation in the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum was to be refrained at times.
The bone was found in 1993 by Karl Pohl and Karl Wieser (cp. Schumacher 1994b: 296). Further detailed find circumstances are unknown resp. not given (cp. Schumacher 1994b: 297). Concerning the other finds from the Ganglegg hill the findspot of the bone must be connected with the Raetic settlement. In addition Gamper indicates that the perforated bones excavated by Pohl and Wieser come from the eastern hillside of the Ganglegg (cp. Gamper 2006: 143). Moreover the inventory number of the object, 88–212, suggests the probable find year 1988. Further information was not available in the museum.
Like all the findings on the Ganglegg hill the bone dates to 3rd–1st centuries BC (cp. Gamper & Steiner 1999: 50–51).
The function of these bones are not definitely certain. However, considering that inscribed and non-inscribed bones were also found in the fill layer of the abandoned houses on the Ganglegg hill it can be supposed that the bones and their function can be connected with the ritual abandonment of houses as it is already been accepted concerning the bone points (cp. the bone points from the Ganglegg incorporated in the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum: VN-9 bone point, VN-11 bone point, VN-12 bone point, VN-16 bone point and VN-18 bone point) as well as a large number of bone points with incised signs of which the interpretation is uncertain). However, it must be said that the dissemination of perforated bones does not correspond with this of the bone points. As Gamper points out, so far perforated bones are proved in the Upper Venosta Valley, in the Lower Engadine and in the Upper Inn Valley. The age determination of the perforated bones ranges from the Middle La Tène period to the Late La Tène period (cp. Gamper 2006: 143). The perforation also suggests the hanging of the bones as Schumacher assumes (cp. Schumacher 1994b: 297). Further bones from the Ganglegg in the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum: VN-2 boneVN-7 bone, VN-10 bone, VN-13 boneVN-15 bone, VN-17 bone, VN-19 bone and moreover large number of bones with incised signs of which the interpretation is uncertain.
In the recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions by Marchesini the object is listed with "MLR 249", an autopsy was not effected. Marchesini erroneously indicates the inventory number "WP1141" (cp. MLR: 218 [MLR 249]). However on the bone the above-mentioned inventory number is indicated.
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.