Animal Teeth in a Late Mesolithic Woman's Grave, Reconstructed as a Rattling Ornament on a Baby Pouch

Riitta Rainio, Annemies Tamboer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional


In one of the Late Mesolithic graves at Skateholm, Sweden, dating from 5500–4800 BC, were buried a woman together with a newborn baby. Altogether 32 perforated wild boar (Sus scrofa) teeth and traces of red ochre pigment were found in this grave as well. These were interpreted by us as a rattling ornament decorating a baby pouch of leather coloured with red ochre. We made an experimental reconstruction and found out that the teeth function well as a rattle when moving the carrier. The reconstruction currently is on display in the European Music Archaeology Project’s travelling exhibition on archaeological instruments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEXARC journal digest
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)6-10
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2018
MoE publication typeD1 Article in a trade journal

Fields of Science

  • 615 History and Archaeology
  • Experimental archaeology
  • Tooth pendants
  • 6131 Theatre, dance, music, other performing arts
  • Sound archaeology
  • Music archaeology
  • History of musical instruments
  • Rattles

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