Bone and Antler Tools from a Late Prehistoric Mackenzie Inuit Site

Book Chapter
CAA Occasional Paper No. 1 1:45-54 (1991)


This paper presents the results of a technological analysis of bone and antler remains from the Trail River site, in the northern Yukon. The site was notable for the heavy concentration of by-products associated with the manufacture of antler artifacts. There was also some evidence for the production of bone tools. The analysis was undertaken to determine the function of the feature where the bone and antler assemblage was found. Recognition of two types of gear was substantiated by the analysis of manufacturing techniques performed on the associated by-products. Personal gear (e.g. arrowheads, knife handles), made from antler, was manufactured with considerable effort and skill. These tools would have been prepared in anticipation of future caribou hunting. Situational gear (e.g. awls, scrapers), made from bone obtained on site, was manufactured expediently and intended for immediate use.