Loom tools and weights

Textile manufacture at Karabournaki is documented by the presence of over 150 loom weights and over 70 spindle whorls, which come from Archaic and early Classical-period layers. The size of the loom weights varies significantly, from 14 g to over 2 kg (the heaviest ones are probably not for weaving), but most of them are fairly light, between 60 and 145 g. Using these tools, the inhabitants of Karabournaki could spin and weave a variety of yarns and types of cloth, from fine to coarse. The most common loom weight shapes are pyramids (42%) and spools (31%), but there are a number of other less frequent types, including conical, discoid, and pinched piriform weights. Some of these shapes are universally found across the Aegean and the wider Mediterranean, while others are more common in the north-west Aegean and the south Balkans. Sometimes several weights are found together in a group, as they were stored and used on ancient looms.

A selection of loom weights found in Karabournaki (phot.: Dr. Joanne Cutler†)