Material cultural heritage: a prehistoric weaving comb

Weaving comb from deer antler, coll. Liemers Museum, Zevenaar, NL
Weaving comb from deer antler, coll. Liemers Museum, Zevenaar, NL

This weaving comb, made from deer antler, may look to us as an insignificant object. It is a simple and unadorned object created to play a role in an altogether mundane process, weaving. But if you take a little time to let it come to you, like I did when I was making the photo’s, you become aware of its sheer elegance, simplicity and functionality. It’s by no means unique, many weaving combs made of a number of materials have been found, and are kept in museums all over the world. But through it we look into the depth of times, when people living in small settlements were just discovering organised, repetitive, and structured ways to survive the harsh conditions in which everyone must live, the condition humaine.

I made a montage of the back and the front to show the soft outside, polished by use, and the concave inside that displays the cellular structure of the antler bone. This is one of a series of images that will be displayed on a multitouch table presentation we are currently developing for the museum.

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