LANCUM-DBFE61: Roman or Saxon Spindle Whorl

Rights Holder: LCC
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Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Cast lead plano-convex spindle whorl. The whorl is decorated with diagonal lines in relief which project from the perforation to the outer edge. Further decoration consists of irregular patterned circular dots. On the other side of the whorl the decoration consists of crosses and dots between the perforation and the outer edge.

It has been noted that the weight of a spindle whorl is demonstrative of the thickness of yarn produced, with lighter spindle whorls (3-5 grams) being used for spinning cotton and the heavier ones (30-35 grams) for spinning wool (Margeson 1993, page 184). This example weighs 32.24 grams, so it seems likely that it would have been used to spin a heavy material such as wool. The dating of unstratified spindle whorls is very difficult. However, Egan (1998, page 256) has argued that there was an apparent lack of interest in developing decorative versions of spindle whorls during the Medieval period, compared to the decorative examples known from the Roman and Saxon periods. Although decorated examples are known from the Medieval period, it seems more likely that such a decorative example is earlier and this artefact probably therefore dates to the Roman or Anglo-Saxon period.

See find number NARC-897258 for similar decoration.

Class: Lead

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: ROMAN
Period from: ROMAN
Date from: Circa AD 43
Date to: Circa AD 720

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Thickness: 15 mm
Weight: 32.24 g
Diameter: 39 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Saturday 1st January 2005

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Lisa Keys
Identified by: Miss Lisa Keys

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead
Manufacture method: Cast

Spatial metadata

Region: North West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Lancashire (County)
District: South Ribble (District)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SD5527
Four figure Latitude: 53.737432
Four figure longitude: -2.683681
1:25K map: SD5527
1:10K map: SD52NE
Grid reference source: Centred on village (which isn't a parish)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LANCUM
Created: 13 years ago
Updated: 8 years ago

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