Bone disc pendant

Magdalenian, around 12,500 years old
From the rockshelter of Montastruc, Tarn-et-Garonne, France

Carved from reindeer bone

This remarkable bone disc was cut from the shoulder blade of a reindeer. It is almost complete, and little more than one millimetre thick. The faint lines on its surface are the marks left by the cutting and cleaning of the flesh from the bone. On one side the edge is decorated with notches. It curves inwards slightly at the bottom, where a barbed line has been drawn across the middle to a broken edge, which may originally have protruded outwards and been pierced with a hole. This would have allowed the disc to be threaded as a pendant.

The notched edge, the decoration and the lack of a central hole are not usual features on other bone discs which are known from south-western France, the Pyrenees, central Europe and Russia. The British Museum has another exceptional bone disc, from La Tuilière.

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More information


A. Sieveking, A catalogue of Palaeolithic ar (London, The British Museum Press, 1987)


Diameter: 7.900 cm
Thickness: 1.000 mm (approx.)

Museum number

P&EE Sieveking Catalogue no. 618

not found on MERLIN

Purchased from Peccadeau de l'Isle for the Christy Collection


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