Skates Made of Bone: A History
McFarland & Company
PO Box 611, Jefferson NC 28640
9781476673905, $45.00, PB, 194pp, www.amazon.com
Synopsis: Ice skates made from animal bones were used in Europe for millennia before metal-bladed skates were invented. Archaeological sites have yielded thousands of examples, some of them dating to the Bronze Age. They are often mentioned in popular books on the Vikings and sometimes appear in children's literature.
Even after metal skates became the norm, people in rural areas continued to use bone skates into the early 1970s. Today, bone skates help scientists and re-enactors understand migrations and interactions among ancient peoples.
In the pages of "Skates Made of Bone: A History" independent scholar B. A. Thurber expertly explains how to make and use bone skates and chronicles their history beginning with...