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Needle case of bone

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From Carn Nan Bharraich, Oronsay, Argyll

Postcard of Needle case of bone.
© National Museums Scotland

Needle case of bone

This bone needle case was found in a woman's grave at Carn nan Bharraich on Oronsay in Argyll. She was buried between 850 and 900 with a pair of Scandinavian oval brooches, a bronze pin, this needle case and other objects, now fragmentary.

The hollow bone has a hole in the middle for hanging the case from a chain or thread.

The preparation of wool and flax, spinning, weaving, and sewing were the domain of Viking women. Needles were made of bronze, bone, wood and iron. They were sometimes kept in cylindrical cases of bone, as this one, or of bronze.

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Online ID: 000-100-043-816-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.IL 332
Date: Between 850 and 900
Material: Bone; cylindrical; perforated at the broader extremity
Dimensions: Broader end 2.19" D; other end 0.38" D
What: Needle case
Where: Scotland, Argyll, Oronsay, Carn nan Bharraich
Description: Viking bone needle-case from Carn nan Bharraich, Oronsay, Argyll
  • Grieg, Sigurd. Viking Antiquities in Scotland (=Viking Antiquities in Great Britain and Ireland, Part II, ed. by Haakon Shetelig). Oslo: H. Aschehoug & Co., 1940, pp 42-4. 
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