Stone Type: Antler
Antlers—a type of dense bone—are an extension of the skull found on various species of deer. They are shed and regrown each year. Antler was popular in the Northern Hemisphere for use as handles for stone tools. It was also used as a material for elongated stone-flaking hammers called ‘billets’.
Antler is an ideal natural material for soft-hammer percussion flaking because the material is soft enough for the edge of the stone to ‘bite’ into it, yet lacks the linear grain-like structure seen in skeletal bones. It is also thicker and less brittle than skeletal bone. Because of this, antler is less likely to shatter or break when used in striking or in pressing off flakes using a pressure flaking technique. The usefulness for antler for flaking can vary between deer species. Moose and white-tail deer antlers are among the best for flaking tools.