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Needle cases, needle tidy, needles and flints

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from Balnakeil, Durness, Sutherland; Ballinaby, Islay, Inner Hebrides and Cnip, Valtos, Uig, Lewis, Outer Hebrides

Needle cases, needle tidy, needles and flints
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This picture shows sewing objects found in Viking graves from Balnakeil near Durness in Sutherland, from Ballinaby on Islay in the Inner Hebrides and from Cnip at Valtos at Uig, on Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. The graves date from between 850 and 925.

The needle case on the top left, from Ballinaby, was made from a thin bronze plate folded over. The middle one, from Cnip, was made from a bird's bone. On the top right is a needle tidy from Balnakeil. Here, yarn was wound round three needles, perhaps separated by a wooden divider.

The objects on the bottom row are also from Balnakeil. The two iron shanks are probably corroded needles, now fused with flints. Other flints, some of much older use, were also found in the burial. They may have been used to cut thread.

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