Discussions of pre-Viking trade and production have for many decades focused on products made of precious metals, glass and, to some degree, iron. This is hardly surprising considering the difficulties in finding and provenancing products made of organic matter. In this article we examine gaming pieces made from bone and antler, which are not unusual in Scandinavian burials in the Vendel and Viking period (c. ad 550–1050). A special emphasis is placed on whalebone pieces that appear to dominate after around ad 550, signalling a large-scale production and exploitation of North Atlantic whale products. In combination with other goods such as bear furs, birds of prey, and an increased iron and tar production, whalebone products are part of an intensified large-scale outland exploitation and indicate strong, pre-urban trading routes across Scandinavia and Europe some 200 years before the Viking period and well before the age of the emporia.