Bone Pipes in the Archaeological Record of Estonia
Although there is archaeological evidence of bone pipes tracing back to much earlier times
in Europe, the peak of the tradition falls in the Middle Ages. That is also the case in Estonia,
where the earliest finds that can be dated with certainty originate from the Medieval period.
There has been little detailed information published regarding bone pipes found in Estonia,
and this contribution is an attempt to other an insight into the bone pipe tradition there, which
appears to have mainly consisted of fipple flutes.
The purpose of this study is to learn what the instruments are like and how they relate to the finds from the rest of Europe. The methods employed include examining 21 archaeological finds and studying their contexts, as well as experimental archaeology. The following contribution provides an overview of the bone pipes examined, and suggestions regarding their possible producers, players and playing methods. There is also some discussion regarding contexts, possible functions, and importance. This will hopefully help to achieve a better understanding of the European bone pipe tradition and its regional differences.