This webpage presents a small selection of spindle whorls excavated by the Princeton University archaeological expedition to Antioch on the Orontes. All of the color images were made of specimens in the study collection of the Princeton Art Museum.



Spinde whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. 13.2 / 11.5.38 (May 11, 1938).

Spindle whorl manufacture out of stone. Reg. no. 14 - R / 21-5-38 (May 21, 1938).

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. 14 - R/ 22-5-38 (May 22, 1938).

Damaged spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. 16 - 0 / 2-5-38 (May 2, 1938).

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. 26 - K (Dump) / 21-8-35 (August 21, 1935).

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. S - 19 - K, House I, room 6 / 13-5-35 (May

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. S - 19 - K / 25-5-35 (May 25, 1938).

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. S - 19 - G, House I / 10-5-35 (May 10 25, 1938).

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. S - 19 - K / 14-5-38 (May 14, 1938).

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. S - 19 - K / 4-5-38 (May 4, 1938).

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. S - 19 - J-K / 26-5-38 (May 26, 1938).

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. 26 - K subroom 4, S. end / 19-8-35 (August 19, 1935).

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. No reg. number.

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. No reg. number.

Unfinished (?) spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. No registration number.

Unfinished (?) spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. No registration number.

Unfinished spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. 16 - O, dump / 8-9-37 (August 9, 1937).

Spindle whorl manufactured out of stone. Reg. no. 17 - P / 27-5-38 (May 27, 1938).

Half of a perforated clay disk that may have functioned as a spindle whorl. Reg. no. 2286 - P201/ Bath A.

Perforated clay disk that may have functioned as a spindle whorl excavated from area 15R - room #4 and found along foundation of polygonal strack (sp?) joint wall number 3. Diameter = 3.8 cm and diameter of of hole is 8 mm. Reg. no. 4668 - T198 and recorded on 4-4-35 = April 4, 1935.

Perforated clay disk that may have functioned as a spindle whorl. Reg. no. 280T7. This corresponds to an object card (reg. no 4677 - T199) of a small disc from excavation area 15R - room #4, in the gravel fill, 2.25 meters from this artifact to drain pipes (bottom) but with holes sunk looting for stones. Recorded on 5-4-25 = April 5, 1935.

Molded clay disk that may have functioned as a spindle whorl from excavation area 27P D-H, sub room 1 along wall alpha. Reg. 5353 - T219 and registered on 19-6-35 = June 19, 1935. Maximum diameter = 6.7 cm and thickness = 1.3 cm. [Modern photograph of the artifact in the study collection of the Princeton Art Museum and original print in the archives of the Princeton Art Museum.]

Molded clay disk with red slip from Area 27-P, D-H, subroom 2. Registered on 21-6-35 = June 21, 1935. Diameter = 49.2 mm, and thickness = 1.1 cm. Reg. no. 5408 - T227.

Black glass spindle whorl. Maximum diameter = 2.4 cm, thickness = 1.2 cm and central hole diameter = 4.5 mm. Excavation area 27 - P DH sub room 1 under the Hunter's mosaic. / Reg. no. 5331 - G160, 18-6-35 = June 18, 1935.

Black glass spindle whorl. Probably the same as Reg. no. 27 - P / 5331 - G160.

Black glass spindle whorl with a white zigzag decoration at the periphery. Diameter = 2.4 cm, thickness = 1.1 cm and central hole diameter = 5.3 mm. Excavation area 27 - P DH Sub room 1 between sub room 1, between water distributor and drainage gamma. Reg. no. 5390 - G162. 20-6-35 = June 20, 1935.

Black glass spindle whorl. Diameter = 2.4 cm, thickness = 1.1 cm. and central hole diameter = 4.2 mm. From excavation area 27 - P DH, sub room under Hunter's mosaic. Reg. no. 5332 G161, 18-6-35 = June 18, 1935.



Drawing of a bone / ivory spindle whorl. Diameter = 2.3 cm, thickness = 8 mm, and central hole diameter = 2.3 mm. From excavation area 16 - P. Trench near road to St. Peters. Reg. no. 5660 - B137, 30-3-36 = March 30, 1936.

Bone spindle whorl with 5 decorated drilled bullseye designs. Diameter = 2.45 cm, thickness = 7.5. and top central hole diameter = 4.1mm and bottom central hole diameter = 4.7 mm. Weight = 3.98 grams. Baltimore Museum of Art Reg. no. 1940.32.31.

Bone / ivory spindle whorl decorated with 5 drilled bullseye designs from excavation area 16 - P, Dig III, 0 to 1 meter (below surface). Diameter = 1.9 cm, thickness = 0.5 cm. and central hole diameter = 3 mm. Reg. no. 5796 - B144, 22-4-36 = April 22, 1936. [similar to the Baltimore spindle whorl, but dimensions are not identical].

Drawing of a bone / ivory spindle whorl from excavation area 9N - Circus. Diameter = 2.2 cm, thickness = 5 mm and central hole diameter = 2.7 mm. From the foundation along outside wall of western casea. Reg. no. 5557 - B134, N5556 7-8-35 means August 7, 1935. Artifact card indicates that it was partitioned to Syria.

Bone spindle whorl. Diameter = 2.55 cm, thickness = 3.9 mm, top central hole diameter = 3.5 mm and bottom central hole diameter = 3.3 mm. Weight = 3.33 grams. Baltimore Museum of Art reg. no. 1940.32.32.

Bone / ivory spindle whorl. Diameter = 2.8 cm, thickness = 3 mm and central hole diameter = 3 mm. From excavation area 26 - O. P. D-H. [Similar to Baltimore Museum of Art reg. no. 1940.32.32 but the measurements are not identical.]

Bone spindle whorl. Diameter = 2.98 cm, thickness - 4.7 mm, top central hole diameter = 4.9 mm and bottom central hole diameter = 4.7 mm. Weight = 4.73 gramsBaltimore Art Museum reg. no. 1940.32.33.

Drawing of a bone / ivory spindle whorl. Diameter = 2.5 cm, thickness = 6 mm, diameter of center hole is 5 mm. Polished bone with two incised circles. Light tan in color. From the Kharab area / mosaic dig. Reg. no. 5303 - B131 / 13-6-36 = June 13, 1936.

Drawing of a bone / ivory spindle whorl. Diameter = 3.2 cm, thickness = 5 mm, and central hole diameter = 5 mm. From the sondages on mosaic surface. Reg. no. 5645 - B135, 19-3-36 = March 19, 1936.

Bone / ivory spindle whorl.

Bone / ivory spindle whorl.

Bone / ivory spindle whorl.

Unfinished bone / ivory spindle whorl.

Unfinished bone / ivory spindle whorl.

Drawing of a bone / ivory spindle whorl from excavation area 18 O/P, theater, level II to 10 m. Diameter = 2.8 cm, thickness = 7 mm and central hole diameter = 6 mm. Reg. no. 6019 B154, 26-3-36 = March 26, 1936.

Drawing of a bone / ivory spindle whorl from excavation area 16P, Dig IV center under south pipes, 1.70 m under Lae Floor Level. Diameter - 3 cm, thickness = 6 mm and central hole diameter of 4 mm. Reg. no. 6031 B160, 25-5-36 = May 25, 1936.

Drawing of a bone / ivory spindle whorl. Diameter = 2.3 cm, thickness = 6 mm, and central hole diameter tapers from 4.5 to 1.4 mm (maybe it was unfinished?). From excavation area 18 - O/P, theater trial 2, 3.50 - 4.5 meters (depth). Reg. no. 5780 - B142, 18-4-36 = April 18, 1936.

Drawing of a bone / ivory spindle whorl. Diameter = 2.8 cm, thickness = 7 mm and central hole is 2.3 mm. From 20 N. D-H dump. Registration number 5546-B128, M2829, 6-7-35 = 7 July 1935. Records indicate that it was partitioned to Syria..

Drawing of a bone / ivory spindle whorl. Diameter = 4.3 mm, thickness = 9 mm, diameter of hole = 7 mm. Chipped and cracked. Light brown bone color. From excavation area 23 - 24 N, under mosaic to bedrock. Reg. no. 5300 - B120, 10-6-35 - June 10, 1935.

Webpage constructed 9 June 2015
Updated 10 August 2015