Objects made from bone, shell, and coral were common in the 17th century. Both Native Virginians and Europeans used these cheap and abundantly available products likely left over after a meal as materials to create usable objects. Items like tools, including knife handles and combs, decorative elements like inlays, beads, or buttons, and gaming items like disk-shaped pieces and dice were often made from bone.
It is relatively uncommon to find Native Virginian-made bone tools on 17th century sites, but at Jamestown approximately 20 artifacts made of bone were likely made by members of nearby tribes and brought to the fort. This highlights the interconnectedness of two cultures coming together, both clashing and collaborating and leaving material evidence behind.
Unusual finds, such as a wall hook fashioned from a now-extinct Eastern Elk antler reveal that the colonists adapted to new resources in Virginia, and 11 lathe-turned bone chess pieces brought to Jamestown, forming only part of what would be a total of 32 pieces for a game, show that there was a lighter side to 17th century Virginia life.