A number of stone items are interpreted as plausible metal-working equipment, including these large river pebbles with a straight groove. A case is made that these were used to manufacture pins of sorts, either by casting, shaping or polishing. One artifact shows evidence of what may be hot shaping from burn marks and the uniformity of the examples are noteworthy.
|Cold molds or polishers? (snip, fig 5)|
Most interesting is the take Horvath has on the functional use of the wrist guards. He notes that most of these in Hungary, despite being located on the lower left arm, are actually placed on the outside of the arm rather than the inside. Horvath makes this comment:
"Perhaps the wrist-guards were also used to sharpen the daggers (the copper’s hardness is 2.5–3 on the Mohs scale: since wrist-guards are harder, they could have been used for this purpose)"I don't believe I've heard this particular argument before and it does make a lot of sense if the use-wear analysis supports this hypothesis. Previously, I assumed these bracers were rotated to the outside of the arm when they weren't being actively used, but that really doesn't help much if they were set in a cuff. Several streams of circumstantial evidence do suggest that many were only part of a larger cuff assembly.
|Snip from fig 9|
Since copper is rather soft, blade edges would need to be re-shaped frequently. The magnified micro-edge of the blade would tend to curl after several uses and this is essentially what curved honing steels do for modern knives.
Finally, you can see that in fig 9 that some bracers were repaired after what should have been throw-away time for looks or any practical use as a bracer. But they are still valued after repeated corner brakes. Several other characteristics are worth a second look, like the fact that they are about the length of a blade and that these items die off with the emergence of bronze!?
"The stone implements and wrist-guards of the Bell Beaker cemetery of Budakalász (M0/12 site)" Vjesnik Arheološkog muzeja u Zagrebu, Vol.50 No.1 Prosinac 2017