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Bone, antler, or ivory? Also, what is it?

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  • Bone, antler, or ivory? Also, what is it?

    I found this on the Texas coastline in the Houston area. It is either bone, antler, or ivory. It has a grain to it that is visible in the photos. Also, it has two holes drilled in it approx. 2" apart and 1/4" - 5/16" diameter. It has damage and wear likely due to erosion from sand and waves etc...

    any thoughts would be appreciated as I only know enough to know that I don't know much about this stuff.
    Material has a grain to it lengthwise visible in the pictures. Not porous like most bone that I'm familiar with. Clear drilled hole. Definitely had holes drilled in it. They would have been approx. 1/4"-5/16" diameter and about 2" center to center.
    Last edited by jmanrizz; 09-13-2017, 07:48 PM.

  • #2
    You need a good magnifying lens. Bone typically will have traces of blood vessel paths on the surface that appear as microscopic grooves or pores and are usually black. I don't see any but your pictures aren't too clear. If you look straight into the end at the drilled hole, ivory will have a fine annular ring pattern that criss crosses. As I recall, the angle that they cross can help determine the donor animal species. I don't really have a test for antler other than friction heat is supposed to stink like burned hair. My guess is it's antler, and I have no idea what it is. What are the circumstances of the find.


    • #3
      I am familiar with the porous nature of bone and this is definitely a different feel. It is very hard if I put it to my tooth whereas bone in my limited experience is hard, but not like this. Would antlers have a grain structure similar to this? The circumstances were I was on the beach fishing and not catching. So I decided to look for stuff on the beach. Lots of cool finds including a few unidentifiable (to me) fossils, a few more modern bones (one of which may have been used as a awl), and a few geodes (I think they are called). I'll post some pictures of the others as well.


      • #4
        These are a few of the fossils I also found. The curious one to me is the one that looks like a fossilized alligator scale? It is definitely not stone.


        • #5
          Pictures of possible Native American pottery. (Thoughts?)
          and a picture of some various bones. The bottom one I believe may have been an awl. (Thoughts?)


          • #6
            A few pieces of lithic material found as well. They do not appear to have been worked


            • #7