whorl(redirected from whorling)
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a weight attached to a spindle that stabilizes the spindle and enables it to rotate uniformly. Whorls have been known since the late Neolithic period. Originally they were made of clay, and later of stone. From the 11th to the 13th century, whorls made of pink slate were widely distributed in Rus’; they were made near Ovruch in Volyn’ region, where the only deposits of pink slate in Eastern Europe are found. Some slate whorls were inscribed with the names of their owners. The production of whorls in Ovruch ceased after the city’s destruction by the Tatars in the 13th century; as a result, clay whorls again became predominant in Rus’.