Feature 5 – Unusual Discovery

Section 8 Feature 5 Ivory
Ivory manufacturing debris, showing three views of the fragment (Cat # 8.58.39).

Ivory Manufacturing Debris

A section of ivory measuring about 3.6 inches in length and triangular in cross-section (Cat # 8.58.39) is an unusual find among the household-related artifacts (Cat # 8.58.39). The widest surface has a fine stamped or incised repeating pattern similar to the detail work seen on bone and ivory fan sticks. The piece is slightly tapered along its length, also suggesting the shape of fan ribs—that is, the upper portion of the fan stick. The design is confined to one small area and is arranged in an asymmetrical manner that might have been used as a test or practice piece. The wide flat surface is smoother than the other two edges. When examining the piece in cross section the smooth, consolidated surface is limited to 1/8 inches in thickness, with the remaining 3/8 inches composed of a different, less consolidated matrix. There is no direct evidence that any of the occupants of this household worked in a trade related to bone or ivory manufactures.