Spindle Whorls of Late Trypillia — Troy(Aniv) and Troy

  • Natalia B. Burdo Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Keywords: spindle whorls, spinning, Trypillia, Early Bronze Age, settlement, necropolises.

Abstract

Trypillian ceramic spindle whorls are a poorly understood category of artifacts. They do not even always fall into the general reviews of Trypillian materials. This type of items is widespread and is typical for the late stage of Trypillia (CII). More than 200 spindle whorls were found in the Troianiv settlement. Dozens of these items were obtained during the excavation of such settlements, as Pavoloch, Horodsk and others.

Contextual analysis of the spindle whorls finds shows that most of them originated from the ruins of burnt dwellings. In many late Trypillian settlements, they are found in pits, which can be interpreted as religious objects. Finds of these items are also well known in the Kasperivtsi cultural layer of the Verteba cave, recognized as a sanctuary. In addition, spindle whorls were part of the funeral gifts in the Vykhvatyntsi necropolis. In Kolodyste they were discovered in graves placed under the barrow. Here they were located in pots, full of calcinated human bones. In other case a spindle whorl was placed in ashes at the necropolises of Sofiivka group.

Formal analysis of spindle whorls shows the diversity of their types, which do not form any groups. The shape, measurements and weight did not affect their technological properties. A significant amount of them is decorated with a deepened decor, and certain ornamental patterns are common to all the locally-chronological groups of Trypillia C II.

The exterior view of spindle whorls, the context of their finding and the symbolic decoration makes it possible to consider them as religious objects. Their decoration isn’t connected technologically with their manufacturing. The tradition of spindle whorls usage in Trypillia C II arises along with the phenomenon of “badenization” of this culture at the beginning of the Early Bronze Age (EBA). The common features of Trypillia C II items and finds from the Troy’s EBA layers allows seeking answers to the question of the spread of sacral traditions in the Old World.

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2018-12-22
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