Dating spindle whorls

dating spindle whorls

How do you date a spindle whorl?

Within the Roman period, if a spindle whorl has been made from a vessel sherd, an earliest date can be suggested by the ware used, where known.

What are spindle whorls?

Spindle whorls are perforated weights from wooden drop spindles. Their weight helped give the spindle momentum in the twisting, or spinning, of fibres into yarn, for later making into textiles.

Are there any lead spindle whorls from Colchester?

There are no lead spindle-whorls from Colchester (see Crummy 1983, 67). It seems that thinner spindles were used in this and the preceding Iron Age period, as compared to later, and that spindle whorls of Roman date can be expected to have perforations c. 4-8 mm in diameter.

How old are stoneware spindle whorls?

Stoneware spindle whorls were common in the first half of the 16th century ( Gaimster 1997, 248-250; fig. 104), possibly within a wider date range ( Hurst and Moorhouse 1981 ).

What is a spindle whorl?

A spindle whorl is a disk-shaped object with a hole in the center, and it is used in the ancient art of making cloth. The presence of a spindle whorl on an archaeological site is an indication of the technological advance of textile production called spinning.

What is a whorl on a spinning wheel?

Spinning with a whorl (c) on a spindle (b) and distaff (above) A spindle whorl is a disc or spherical object fitted onto the spindle to increase and maintain the speed of the spin. For ages the whorls have been made of many different materials: amber, antler, bone, coral, glass, metal (iron, lead, lead alloy), and wood (oak).

How old are stoneware spindle whorls?

Stoneware spindle whorls were common in the first half of the 16th century ( Gaimster 1997, 248-250; fig. 104), possibly within a wider date range ( Hurst and Moorhouse 1981 ).

How is a spindle made in spinning?

In spinning, a weaver builds a spindle by inserting a wooden dowel through the hole in a spindle whorl. The raw fibers of plants or animal wool (called roving) are attached to the dowel, and the spindle is then made to rotate, in a clockwise or counterclockwise fashion, twisting and compressing the fibers as it collects them on top of the whorl.

What is the diameter of a Roman spindle whorl?

It seems that thinner spindles were used in this and the Roman period, as compared to later, and that spindle whorls can be expected to have perforations c. 4-8 mm in diameter. Many Roman spindle whorls were made from reused ceramic sherds, or from stones such as shale.

What are Whorl-weighted spindles?

Whorl-weighted spindles date back at least to Neolithic times; spindle whorls have been found in archaeological digs around the world. A spindle is also part of traditional spinning wheels where it is horizontal, such as the Indian charkha and the great or walking wheel.

What does a spindle whorl on an archaeological site mean?

The presence of a spindle whorl on an archaeological site is an indication of the technological advance of textile production called spinning. Spinning is the process of creating cords, yarn or thread from raw plant, animal, and even metal fibers.

How do you date a spindle whorl?

Within the Roman period, if a spindle whorl has been made from a vessel sherd, an earliest date can be suggested by the ware used, where known.

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