A Fragment for Friday — Another Toothbrush!

The field school students are enjoying a well-deserved extra-long weekend. James and I have taken today to sort out some logistical issues for our proposed field school visit to Big Island on Pigeon Lake to perform a Cultural Landscape Survey for the Kawartha Land Trust.

I will be enjoying the long weekend as well, but before I do, here is a funny little random find from this week. Marit was excavating in the midden, and I was checking in on my rounds to see how it was going. While we were discussing what was happening, I happened to see a piece of bone sticking up from the surface beside the midden cut.

Now since the site has been walked on, plus rain, plus frost, plus other bioturbation, we have noticed a bunch of new artifacts popping out on the surface of the site this field season. In most cases we leave them, but important or interesting ones get tagged as a surface find.

I picked up this piece of bone and noticed it was worked. Someone had taken the bone and smoothed it and shaped it to a rounded end. It is quite pale, which means it was either bleached by a treatment, or from being exposed to the sun for a while. Since it was light on both sides, that suggests it was intentionally bleached.

Worked bone artifact, cylindrical with a tapered end.

I thought that was a bit curious, and suggested it wasn’t just part of someone’s supper like most of the bone pieces we have found on site! As I was walking over to get a surface finds bag, I suddenly noticed two small holes at one end of the artifact.

Worked bone artifact, with two small boreholes visible at one end, a toothbrush with the head broken off.

It’s another toothbrush! This one, however, looks much more rustic and home-made compared to the other one we found. It evidently broke at the head (no surprise as all those little holes for the bristles would have weakened the structural integrity). It’s still a fun find!

Happy weekend, and we’ll be back on Tuesday.

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