Fragmenter af et håndværk: Ten- og vævevægte fra førromersk jernalder i Jylland


  • Line Lerke
  • Christine Søvsø Hjorth-Jørgensen


Until now, spindle whorls and loom
weights from the Pre-Roman and Early
Roman Iron Age in Denmark have never
been studied systematically, leaving an unexploited
potential of insights into Early
Iron Age textile craft. These spinning and
weaving tools were finally documented
and investigated during our bachelor project
and master’s thesis at the University
of Copenhagen in 2015 and 2017. The geographical
focus was set on Jutland with its
many settlements and burial sites from the
periods in question. The projects resulted
in various conclusions, among others that
the use of the warp-weighted loom is reserved
for the few, as indicated by a small
number of loom-weights, which also coincides
with the weaving technological
testimonies of the many well-preserved
textiles. Based on the work of e. g. Centre
for Textile Research, this article lines
out how to make analytical use of a loomweight.
The spindle whorls appear in much
higher numbers, representing a wide range
of spinning potentials. The primary type
of spindle-whorl is disc-shaped and manufactured
from re-used potsherds, which
have been rounded and pierced from both
sides. We have tested these widely debated
clay objects in a spinning test, which
proved to determine that uneven sherds
with skew piercings may very well be used
as spindle whorls and do not have a negative
effect on the outcome of the thread.
The focus on these humble artefacts has
integrated the textile tools in a conceptual
framework stretching across manufacture
and function, which is widening the
understanding of textile craft in the Early
Iron Age.





Lerke, L., & Hjorth-Jørgensen, C. S. (2021). Fragmenter af et håndværk: Ten- og vævevægte fra førromersk jernalder i Jylland. Arkæologi I Slesvig-Archäologie in Schleswig, 2020(18), 221–238. Hentet fra