Raw materials and urban comb manufacturing in medieval Scandinavia


en Anthropozoologica 25-26 - Pages 201-206

Published on 01 June 1998

This article is a part of the thematic issue Proceedings of the 7th ICAZ International Meeting, Constance, September 1994

Large quantities of waste reveal where the workshops of comb makers were located in medieval towns. Fragments of bone and antler tell us from what species the raw materials came and how the supply was organized. In the 11th and 12th centuries, antler was the dominant raw material for combs, usually from local populations of elk or red deer. However, There is at least one example where reindeer antler, transported from afar, was clearly preferred over local resources. During the 13th century there was a general change in the nature of the raw material to more bones from domestic animals, especially cattle and horses.


Scandinavia, Middle Ages, Comb manufacturing, Raw materials.

Download full article in PDF format Order a reprint