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Tools and technology in Ancient Greece

Jug with a woman spinning

Height: 21.500 cm

GR 1873.8-20.304 (Vases D 13)

Jug with a woman spinning

From: made in Athens, Greece
Date: around 490 BC

The woman on this vase is spinning wool into thread. In her left hand she holds a rod which holds clumps of red wool. With her right hand, she is drawing out a strand of the wool. This is attached to a weighted spindle hanging down which twists the wool to form a strong thread. When the thread gets long enough to touch the ground, the woman will have to stop, wind the thread around the spindle and then do the same steps again.

Athenian women and girls spent a great deal of time spinning and weaving, in order to provide their family with all the material they needed for their clothes.