Mystery object of the day

Another wet and windy day (apparently summer was yesterday) with the first year students off on their familiarisation trip around the West Mainland, and a dedicated team left on site to hold the fort. Said team strengthened by Jackie McKinley back for another few weeks playing in the dirt at Swandro, she'd hardly been on site two minutes when she found this weird thingy:

I'd call this our star find of the day but not sure we can designate it that until we know what it is - Julie thinks it's probably antler, but is waiting till it drys out to have a closer look at it. It's very dense, isn't socketed so doesn't look like a handle, doesn't seem to be broken and no-one - not even Alan Braby who I think has probably illustrated pretty much every find ever found anywhere in Scotland - has ever seen anything like it. It came from the Pictish/Viking interface in the corner of our little Pictish building, where Jackie (on the right) was removing some flagging that we'd been using as a convenient step down into the site:


So - despite the dig team collectively having about 500 years worth of experience digging on sites in the Northern Isles this has us stumped - answers on a postcard please!

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Swandro - Orkney Coastal Archaeology Trust 

Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation No: SC047002 

Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince Charles, the Duke of Rothesay

Registered office: Bayview Birsay Orkney KW17 2LR   email: info@swandro.co.uk