Framed Near Eastern Alabaster Spindle Whorls


A framed set of three Near Eastern spindle whorls, carved out of alabaster, and perforated vertically through the centre. The spindle whorls are hemispherical in shape and feature a domed profile with grooved ridges. They would have been attached to a spindle stick through the middle and used in the production of thread.

Date: Circa 3rd-2nd Millenium BC
Condition: Good condition. The spindle whorls display signs of wear consistent with age.


SKU: XJ-12 Category: Tag:

Spindle whorls are symmetrical, circular objects made from materials such as clay, stone, bone and ceramic. A dowel was inserted through the perforated centre to which fibres such as cotton, flax, hemp and wool were attached. The whorl was then spun in order to twist and compress the fibres into a continuous thread. Its circular form maintains momentum and gives added torsion during the spinning. The first spindle whorls probably appeared around the Upper Palaeolithic and was quickly adopted all over the world. In the Near East they might have appeared around the Neolithic age. As an essential tool in textile production, it has been used from prehistoric times to modern day. The distribution of spindle whorls have been used by archaeologist to gain insights into ancient textile production and technology.

Weight 296 g
Dimensions L 20 x W 15 cm



Reference: For a similar item,The Metropolitan Museum, New York, item 40.170.332

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