Bony Tales

In the excavations carried out over the years on the site of Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova museum, more than a tonne of animal bones have been discovered. The exhibition Bony Tales illustrates the interesting history of animals.

The bones will be here to stay

To date, there have been three exhibitions focusing on bones in Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova. They have aroused enormous interest among our visitors. Bones and entire skeletons of animals have been the most popular of new archaeological finds presented to the public. We have learned from this and decided to place more bones on display – permanently.

Bones are fascinating. They tell us in a concrete way about animals from former times. A cat skeleton discovered in the cellar of a medieval stone-built house or a piglet skeleton revealed in excavations at the bottom of a well entice us to envisage the story of that particular animal. On the basis of research data we can ascertain an animal’s sex, size, state of health and age at death. Dents and scratches in the bones discovered often have to do with other animals' behaviour, and the most interesting stories have a link to human action or coexistence between animals and humans.

The exhibition encourages visitors to learn and experiment

Bony Tales presents more than 30 animal species which have a link to the museum area or which otherwise open up the history of animals. Bone findings and remains of animals ranging from entire skeletons to tiny fish bones are on display. The stories are supplemented with drawings by visual artist Taru Muurain. At the bone researcher’s table you can study animal bones. There is so much we can find out by studying bones!

View of Bony Tales
View of Bony Tales
The Bony Tales stand-in
The Bony Tales stand-in
Fun learning at the bone researcher's table
Fun learning at the bone researcher's table
Medieval paw prints
Medieval paw prints
Skull of a pig
Skull of a pig
Cat skeletons are the museum’s favourite artefacts, attracting visitors over and over again. Consequently, a medieval cat named Luukkonen, and Hiski, a cat from the 17th century, are the key animals of the exhibition. Photo: Jari Nieminen
Cat skeletons are the museum’s favourite artefacts, attracting visitors over and over again. Consequently, a medieval cat named Luukkonen, and Hiski, a cat from the 17th century, are the key animals of the exhibition. Photo: Jari Nieminen