Domed lead spindle whorls are generally Roman but go through to the post medieval period. Before the use of spinning wheels, spinning was carried out with a spindle and a whorl. The spindle, or rod, usually had a swelling on which the whorl was fitted. A wisp of prepared wool was twisted around the spindle, which was then spun and allowed to drop. The whorl, acting like a flywheel adds momentum to the spindle. By doing this the fibres were extended and twisted into a yarn.
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