Circular black glass spindle whorl: 6th century

Circular black glass spindle whorl: 6th century
3 0 c m
40cm
actual image size: 32cm x 21cm

Full image caption

Circular black glass spindle whorl with a hole in the centre for the spindle. It is decorated with 4 swirls on the surface of the glass.
This spindle whorl was found in a woman's grave. She would have used it when spinning woollen thread. Until the invention of the spinning wheel in the late 1200s, wool was spun into thread by hand. A hank of wool was drawn out, and the end attached to a stick called a spindle, which was kept spinning by a heavy circular weight called a spindle whorl. This whorl was found in a woman's grave in a Saxon cemetery in Mitcham. Saxon housewives spun woollen thread and wove cloth to make clothes for the family.

© Museum of London

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