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From Stywick Bay, Sanday, Orkney and Cinn Trolla, Kintradwell, Sutherland

Postcard of Needles.
© National Museums Scotland


This antler needle from a broch at Sty Wick Bay on Sanday in Orkney, and a similar one of bone or horn from a broch at Cinn Trolla at Kintradwell in Sutherland, were used in to make baskets sometime between 200 BC and 400 AD.

The needles are sometimes termed 'straw needles'.

Plant and animal fibres were used to produce a wide range of common products in addition to cloth, including nets, basketry, string and rope. Few examples survive, and of those which do, there is rarely enough to determine the size, shape or function.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-038-004-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.GL 24
Date: 200 BC - 400 AD
Between 200 BC and 400 AD
Material: Bone or horn
Horn, deer; thick end partially flattened on one side and pierced by circular hole
Dimensions: 5.25" L; hole 0.38" D
What: Needle, straw
Tool / needle, straw
Who: Reverend Dr J.M. Joass
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Sanday, Stacwick Bay
Scotland, Sutherland, Brora, Kintradwell, Cinn Trolla
Description: Antler tool, possibly a straw needle, from Stacwick Bay, Sanday
Straw needle of bone or horn, from Cinn Trolla, Kintradwell, Sutherland, 200 BC - 400 AD
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