Archaeological Collection

Bone artefacts

Bone artefacts
Item name:Bone artefacts
Dating:Mesolithic, 11,500–7,000 years before the present
On display:The Earliest Stories from the Crossroads


Harpoons only appeared on the territory of present-day Slovenia in the Mesolithic. The example on the left was found in 1936 in the Špehovka cave; it was the first Mesolithic artefact found in Slovenia. Other presumably Mesolithic harpoons came from the riverbed of the Ljubljanica in the stretch across the Ljubljansko barje. The third harpoon from the left, found in the Ljubljanica near Blatna Brezovica, has been radiocarbon dated to 9664–9292 BC, to the very beginning of the Mesolithic. The Ljubljansko barje also yielded numerous bone projectile points. The first one on the left originates from Breg near Škofljica, the three on the right from Zalog near Verd, where they were found in the bed of the Ljubija stream.


1. Unilateral harpoon, antler, l. 5.6 cm, Špehovka, Inv. No. Šp. 93.
2. Bilateral harpoon, antler, l. 9.1 cm, River Ljubljanica, Inv. No. V 4427.
3. Unilateral harpoon, antler, l. 23.2 cm, River Ljubljanica at Blatna Brezovica, Inv. No. P 18405.
4. Unilateral harpoon, bone, l. 18.6 cm, River Ljubljanica, Inv. No. V 4426.
5. Projectile point, bone, l. 12 cm, Breg near Škofljica, Inv. No. Br. K15.
6. Projectile point, bone, l. 12.6 cm, Zalog near Verd, Inv. No. V 2913.
7. Projectile point, bone, l. 11.2 cm, Zalog near Verd, Inv. No. V 2911.
8. Projectile point, bone, l. 10 cm, Zalog near Verd, Inv. No. V 2912.

Further reading

Turk, Peter and Turk, Matija, 2019: The Earliest Stories from the Crossroads, Ljubljana, Fig. 122, pp. 85, 243.

On display in the Permanent Exhibition