Reproductions of other tools from the bronze age

Naturally bronze wasn't the only material used in the bronze age. On contrary, tools made from bronze were very rare. As in the stoneage, flint was still very commonly used. Also other materials that were available were used, such as wood, horn, bone, antler. And of course many other materials were used for other purposes, like house building, clothing, pottery etc. When the bronze age started in the Netherlands, bronze only complemented the selection of materials available, which enabled more possibilities then before. 

Below I'll give some examples of what non-bronze objects I've made and collected. As I'm mainly specializing in bronze casting, I don't have the ability to spend much time in other techniques. For this reason some of the objects are not made by me. But to give a more complete picture of what was used in the bronze age, I've added these as well.



For hundreds of thousands of years, flint has been the most important material for making tools. In North-West Europe flintworking reached it's golden age in the bronze age, as a larger variety of products and higher craftmanship was accomplished then ever before. 

Flint is a type of stone which can be found in chalk deposites, as well as glacial deposites. It can be worked by controlled removal of flakes, either by hammering or by pressure. These flakes (as seen in the picture), are very sharp, and can be used for cutting, scraping etc. Another method of making flint tools is by shaping a piece by removing the flakes. With this method more complex tools can be made, such as daggers, axes, sickles and arrowheads. To be able to do this, a lot of skill and experience is required. For this reason I leave flint working to the people who specialize in it.

Dagger and scabbard

This dagger is made by Diederik, a flintworker in Archeon. The dagger is a miniature version (10cm in length) of the famous Danish daggers. This miniature version is also found as original. Daggers of a different type have also been found in the Netherlands, and are probably imported from Denmark. The scabbard I've made myself. It's a copy of Ötzi's dagger scabbard, and it's made of grass leaves.

 Type III Danish dagger by D.C. Waldorf

D.C. Waldorf is one of the very few flint knappers who has succeeded in reproducing the amazing Danish daggers, including the highly complexe Type IV daggers. And the great thing is, he sells them through his site. This is a less complex Type III dagger, but this dagger is already a definate masterpiece. It's made from Danish flint, so it's completely authentic. The dagger is 19cm long, and has the typical stitching on the hilt, which is made using indirect percussion flaking. 

Bone, horn & antler

Organic materials such as bone, horn and antler are rarely found from the bronze age in the Netherlands. This is because these materials only stay preserved in rare conditions. It's quite certain that these materials have been used for many purposes. These materials were available in large quantities as leftovers from cattle, and hunted animals, after they were killed for their meat. Naturally the bronze age people let nothing go to waste. 

Horn comb

This comb is made from cow horn, and is based on the combs found in Denmark. Horn can be bend after it's soaked in hot water. This makes it possible to make flat plates out of the thin (hollow) part of the horn, from which these combs could be made. Horn comes in the colors transparant white, opaque white and black. In the Netherlands, an example of horn is found as the hilt from the dagger of Bargeroosterveld, which was decorated with tin pins. 

Antler needles

Of the materials bone, horn and antler, antler is the strongest and most durable material. This makes it very suitable for needles, awls etc. These needles I made using modern tools, aside from the holes. The holes I made using a very fine flint point. The left needle is drilled, the right one is carved.

The hard layer of antler is in general only several millimeters thick, and has a porous core inside. By soaking the antler in water until the core is soft, tools of flint or bronze can be set in the core. After drying the core hardens, and the tool is fixed to the hilt. This makes antler very usuable for hafts.

Wooden artifacts from the bronze age of the Netherlands are hardly found. Still, lots of wooden artifacts must have been used. So for actual finds I'll have to look to other countries. But even that still gives a very incomplete picture. So some artifacts will have to be filled in without having any archeological evidence.
Mallets have been found from the stone age (Meare Heath, UK), bronze age (Zurich-Alpenquai, Switzerland)  and iron age (Glastonbury Lake Village, UK). The first was made from a yew stem with perpendicular branch. The second is more advanced, and exist of a rectangular shaped hammer block and a seperate haft attached to it. I based my mallet on the iron age find. The hammer block and haft are both made from oak, using my socketed axe and knife. The hole for the haft was the most difficult. This I burned in using glowing charcoals. This unfortunately caused some cracks in the hammer block. The haft is secured using a wedge. To prevent the wood from cracking further, I wrapped some rawhide around the hammer block.


Files have not been found from the bronze age. So either they didn't exist at all, or were made in a way that they aren't preserved. The file I made is wood with a mix of sand and hideglue attached to it. This works quite well. If this was used, it wouldn't show up as archeological finds. So files like this may have been used, but there's no way to verify this.