Pavla Ruzickova wrote a paper back in 2009 on "Bow Shaped Pendants" made of Boar's tusks
of the Central European Bell Beakers. Her thesis paper brought together a couple of previous thoughts.
Before I begin, I should note that any sort of Boar's tusk ornament or trophy in a Beaker burial is not exceedingly common. However, tusks or tusk ornaments are periodically represented in graves throughout the entire Beaker horizon and may represent a low frequency, but unifying element across Beaker cultures. It's only in the Central Continent that they are carved in this way.
|Bell Beaker Culture in Moravia (ppt), Matějíčková & Dvořák et al, 2014|
Boar's Tusk Pendants, like the ones above, are sometimes found on Beaker bowmen in decreasing frequency from Bohemia, Moravia, Austria, Bavaria, Poland, Hungary, Italy, Switzerland, Baden and Brandenburg (Ruzickova, 2009). They are also sometimes found in habitation assemblages.
They were usually made of Boar's tusk, although finer, substitute materials were sometimes used in lieu. I will trust most were discovered in an unambiguous, arched-down position.
|Bow-Shaped Pendant 'nocks' (Ruzickova, 2009)|
|Fig. 18 modified (Ruzickova, 2009)|
|"Beaker Bows" modified from Fig. 20 (Ruzickova,2009)|
Upcoming on the Beaker Blog...
In part 2, I discuss how the arm bracers can inform us of how the bow was held. From that, I deduced that there were three major bow classes used in those times.
I have several other non-metrics to cover in future posts, including (hopefully), osteological data that would seem to support compression and torsional injuries in the left forearm, lower humerus and clavicles of post-Neolithic archers, at least in the British Islands.
Tomorrow, I would like to discuss what Otzi's unfinished Italian yew longbow can tell us about Chalcolithic longbows and its development and impact on Late Neolithic societies in Europe, and a few other things...
Second and third pages to Beaker blog coming soon.
(1) "Bow-Shaped Pendants of the Bell Beaker Culture" (Ruzickova, 2009)