Skip to content

Etruscan Cetamura

Spindle Whorl, halved

ca. 200 – 150 BCE
Cetamura Ceramic Fabric 2
Well #1
Cet. Inventory
Inv. C-14-54

This conical clay object was normally attached to a wooden shaft to make a device for spinning thread.  In this case, the object was cut in half and then cast into the well, probably to make an offering to the gods.  A cross-section drawing of the whorl was used to create a complete reconstruction in plastic with 3-D printing.

Prov. 5N/18W.106.2. H. 2.5. Max. diam. 3. Wt. 9 g. Munsell: 5 Y/R 3/1 “very dark gray”

A conical spindle whorl cut neatly in half vertically. Dark grey coloration probably from burning. Fabric closest to Cetamura local Fabric 2, with some micaceous and sandstone inclusions. The halving of the whorl almost certainly occurred ritually. Traditionally such conical objects are photographed and drawn with the smaller end at the top, but research shows that when the weight was attached to a spindle, the larger end was at the top.

Dating: Found in Well Group II (ca. 200-150 BCE).

Bibl.: Gleba 2008, 104–105 (type D2).