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Prehistoric Combs of Antler and Bone, Volumes I and II

Tina Tuohy
Publication Year:
330 pages. Two volume set. Includes numerous black and white figures.
ISBN 10:
BAR number:


Archaeologists have long known of the existence of antler and bone combs but understanding of their function and significance has advanced little beyond the initial identification of their Iron Age date and a traditional association with weaving. This thesis covers combs found in North and South Britain and Northern Europe. Volume I presents a survey of previous studies and interpretation of combs. Study of the wear patterns on the teeth, manufacture, style and decoration has been undertaken to see if variation can be related to tribal groupings, to the products of individual antler workers or to specific regions. The social and economic background of comb production and trade and exchange patterns of these small durable and personal artefacts have all been studied. There will be separate sections on North British combs which frequently differ in shape and material from those of South Britain and those found in Europe. Volume II will contain a catalogue of combs under discussion to include descriptions and scale drawings of all combs.

This volume is part of a two volume set: ISBN 9781407358703 (Volume I); ISBN 9781407358710 (Volume II); ISBN 9781841711126 (Volume set).