Original title: An interpretation of the 'bombastic' Cham culture spindle whorls by an archaeological experiment
Authors: Chylíková, Judita
Document type: Papers
Conference/Event: North European Symposium for Archaeological Textiles /13./, Liberec (CZ), 20170523
Year: 2017
Language: eng
Abstract: One group of artefacts characteristic of Cham culture are the so-called bombastic whorls. These spindle whorls each weigh about 100 g in biconical, bell-shaped or cylindrical forms. Their specific function has been discussed by Czech archaeologists and their connection to textile production questioned. The assumption that Cham culture was based on a pastoral economy led the 'bombastic' whorls to be traditionally associated with wool processing. This myth survived in Czech archaeological literature, even though agricultural production has long since been shown to be relevant to Cham culture and any connection between the 'bombastic' whorls and wool has no justification in terms of textile manufacturing. The aim of the experiments reported here was to disprove the relationship between 'bombastic' whorls and sheep's wool, and on the contrary, to demonstrate their suitability for the processing of vegetal fibres. For the purposes of the experiment, two sets of spindle whorls were documented: Cham culture whorls from the hill-top settlement of Velká skála and those of the Řivnáč culture from the hillfort Denemark. Řivnáč culture existed at the same time as Cham culture in the adjacent regions. Small spindle whorls, usually conical in shape, are typical for this culture. However, the Cham and Řivnáč whorls do not constitute two completely separate categories in terms of size, weight and shape. A representative sample of ten specimens was selected from the documented whorls and their duplicates were made. Five spinners spun wool, flax and linden bast. Besides the interpretation of the 'bombastic' spindle whorls, the aim of the experiment was to provide a better understanding of the relationship between the processed raw material, the spindle whorl used, and the quality of spun threads.
Keywords: 'bombastic' whorls; Cham culture; Eneolithic; experiment; textile production; wool
Host item entry: Archaeological textiles - links between past and present. NESAT XIII, ISBN 978-80-7494-397-3

Institution: Institute of Archaeology, Prague AS ČR (web)
Document availability information: Fulltext is available at the institute of the Academy of Sciences.
Original record: http://hdl.handle.net/11104/0285190

Permalink: http://www.nusl.cz/ntk/nusl-383520

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Research > Institutes ASCR > Institute of Archaeology, Prague
Conference materials > Papers
 Record created 2018-07-30, last modified 2020-03-27

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