© Swiss National Museum

Name of Object:

Perforated baton with incised wild horses


Zurich, Switzerland

Holding Museum:

Swiss National Museum



Type of object:

Perforated baton

Museum Inventory Number:


Material(s) / Technique(s):

Reindeer antlers; incised


H: 29,4cm, W: 4,3cm, Depth: 2,4cm, Weight: 152g


Switzerland, Schaffhausen


15,000 years ago, towards the end of the last Ice Age, human beings found an ideal campsite under a rock spur in Canton Schaffhausen. Here they ate, drank, worked flint stones, and did sewing work. The campsite was discovered in Herblingen, a district in the town of Schaffhausen, in the nineteenth century. Among the finds was a perforated baton made from reindeer antlers, featuring two incised wild horses. It is one of the oldest figurative representations ever found in Switzerland. It would be interesting to know what the baton was used for in the late Stone Age. Archaeologists assume that it served ritual purposes in connection with hunting. Drawing was considered a thaumaturgic act through which humans hoped to gain control over wild game and thus enhance their hunting luck.

Current Owner:

Swiss Confederation

How date and origin were established:

Stylistic analysis

How Object was obtained:

Found in the 19th century, purchased in 1894

Citation of this web page:

 "Perforated baton with incised wild horses" in MWNF GALLERIES , Museum With No Frontiers, 2018. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;GALLERIES;sw;Mus01;1;en&id=communication_and_transportation

MWNF Working Number: CH_GAL_001