Saltfleetby Spindle Whorl (LIN-D92A22)

Lead spindle whorl with runic inscription

A lead spindle whorl found at Saltfleetby St Clement, Lincolnshire, and inscribed with runes. The dating of the spindle whorl is uncertain, and dates in the late Viking Age, the early eleventh century, or even the twelfth century, have been suggested. The spindle whorl is inscribed with Scandinavian runes that appear to mention the Norse gods Odin and (possibly) Heimdall. The object is likely to have been produced locally, though the runes demonstrate contacts with the Scandinavian world of the time, perhaps especially Norway.

John Hines has suggested the translation ‘Óðinn and Heimdallr and Þalfa, they are helping you, Úlfljót, and …’. For further discussion of the text, see the open-access article by Jesch referenced below. For more on runes, see our Runes page.

Object Type

Spindle whorl

Date

1000 — 1200

Style

Ascribed Culture

Original/Reproduction

Original

Material

Collection

Viking Objects

Current Location

Private Ownership

Keywords

Danelaw, Heimdall, Lincolnshire, Norse_mythology, Odin, Portable_Antiquities_Scheme, runes, runic_inscription, spindle_whorl, textile_production, Viking, women

Further information

You can see the original at Private Ownership.

This object is related to Saltfleetby St Clement, Lincolnshire.
Find out about Saltfleetby St Clement, Lincolnshire.

Acknowledgements

Images sourced from the Portable Antiquities Scheme and (c) Lincolnshire County Council, CC-BY-SA 4.0 International

References

Portable Antiquities Scheme

Hines, John. 2017. ‘A glimpse of the heathen Norse in Lincolnshire.’ In Crossing Boundaries. Interdisciplinary approaches to the art, material culture, language and literature of the early medieval world, ed. Eric Cambridge and Jane Hawkes, 118-26. Oxford: Oxbow.

Judith Jesch, ‘Further thoughts on E18 Saltfleetby.’ Futhark: International Journal of Runic Studies 9-10 (2018-19), 201-13.