Fast Search

You are Here: Home / South Shields, bone heddle frame

Tyne and Wear HER(16748): South Shields, bone heddle frame - Details

Back to Search Results


S Tyneside

South Shields, bone heddle frame

South Shields


Tools and Equipment

Textile Equipment





Original length 9 cm, width 7.7 cm. The object comprises bone slats, each decorated with a row of six 'bird's eyes' motifs', held at either end in simply patterned bronze edging. It was used for weaving bands of cloth. The warps were threaded alternately between the slats and through the hole in the centre of each. The weaver could then separate the warps by raising or lowering the frame to pass the needle or shuttle holding the weft thread between them. Parallels for this object are relatively rare. Ancient heddle frames have been found at Pompeii and in a late Roman grave in Hungary. Medieval and post medieval examples are known. The Great North Museum holds a wooden heddle frame from Norway dated 1777, which is similar to this Roman example from South Shields. The circumstances of the discovery at South Shields are unknown but its degree of preservation suggests that it came from a burial. Great North Museum: Hancock 1956.226.A




DJ Smith, 1974, Museum of Antiquities, Newcastle upon Tyne - An Illustrated Introduction, 43; Archaeologia Aeliana, Series Four, Vol XXVI (1948), pp 89-97, plate IV, B; Archaeologia Aeliana, Series Four, Vol XLIX (1971), pp 230-1, plate XVIII

Back to Search Results