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Spindle Whorls

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From Cairnconan, Angus; Freswick Sands, Caithness; Muirfield, East Lothian; Coalhill, Ayrshire

Spindle Whorls
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Pictured here are stone spindle whorls from Cairnconan in Angus and Freswick Sand in Caithness, a bone example from Muirfield in East Lothian and a ceramic example from Coalhill in Ayrshire. They were used between 200 BC and 200 AD.

The spindle whorls are of different shapes, but all have central perforations where the wool was tied on. The top example, from Freswick Sands has seven small cup-like depressions on one face and six on the other.

Spindle whorls were hung at the end of wool, to act as a flywheel as it was spun into yarn using a spindle. They occur in a range of shapes and materials, as illustrated here. Spindle whorls are often the only evidence preserved of spinning.

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