VM_365 Day 135 How to carve a spindle whorl.

VM 135-a

Day 135’s  VM 365 image shows the two sides of an unfinished spindle whorl of Late Iron Age or Early Roman date, which was found at in 2005 at Dumpton Gap, Broadstairs .

This particular object is  interesting because it shows the different stages that the maker went through to carve the spindle whorl from Chalk. The first stage would have been the selection of a suitable sized piece of hard chalk, probably picked up from the beach nearby, and carve it roughly into shape.  It seems likely that the outline was then scored in the chalk using a pair of compasses, marking the location of the central hole at the same time. The central hole would then have been drilled through the chalk and the finished object was shaped and finished more carefully using the scored circles as a guide.

We do not know why this object was abandoned part way through the manufacturing process, it may have been because the fragment was damaged, a large chip that had been removed from one side (left image) may have been the cause.

Although many of the objects archaeologists examine have been broken after use, it is rare to see one that gives such an insight into the manufacturing methods, because it has been abandoned while it was being made.

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