Les Gestes de la Préhistoire

An audiovisual encyclopedia to discover prehistory

Head Pin

Sewing or boring tool

Around 17 000 years


Magdalenian groups made considerable use of dyes [...] With these various colors, probably cut with fat or marrow [...] they painted their bodies or tattooed themselves with the help of points...
D. Peyrony, Éléments de préhistoire, A. Costes, Paris.1948


Commentary : 

Long reindeer antler pins from the Magdalenian, are not all sewing tools. Instead of an eye, they have rounded end, that makes them easier to hold.

These very sharp and rarely damaged points could only have been used to pierce fragile materials.

These objects may have been used for body markings. As still the case in many hunter-gatherer cultures, tattooing is practiced in the Magdalenian, 17 000 years ago. Tattooing a motif could symbolically bestow strength and protection, or signal membership to a social, or cultural group.


Technical informations

Length: 04:56

Resolution : Full HD / 1920x1080

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