Friday mystery object #44


It’s been a busy week looking at cat skulls with Manabu Sakamoto from Bristol Uni. Lots of lovely pics which will hopefully eventually make their way on to the Horniman website once Rupert (our new Documentation Manager) works his magic with our database. Since cat skulls are pretty easy to identify I was a bit concerned that I might not find a sufficiently challenging mystery object for today, but fortunately Helen (our Collections Access Officer) and Nick (one of our awesome volunteers) came through with this (click for bigger):

So what is this object (easy) and more importantly, what is the head of it made from (tricky) and where does it come from (pretty easy once you get what it’s made from)?

Suggestions and questions below – I’ll do my best to answer in good time. Good luck!

19 thoughts on “Friday mystery object #44

  1. Some kind of spear? No idea what it is made from, but I make a wild stab in the dark and say the designs look North American.

    • You’re the closest so far. Not horn from a marsupial (extinct or otherwise) and not Australian, but you’re on the right track with both answers!

  2. I was thinking Australian this morning, the aboriginals there being very creative in the weapons department – their spear-thrower (woomera or something like that) firing the fastest projectile on the planet until the invention of the rifle, if I remember correctly. If Australia is on the right track, that suggests New Zealand/Indonesia/Polynesia, but are there any marsupials with horns? Maybe a marine mammal?

  3. I’m with neil, but on the other hand it could be a Tasmanian nose-picker made from the baculum of a thylacine!

    Laters

    matt

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