Comparative Archaeology Database, University of Pittsburgh

Pedregal Dataset
Robyn E. Cutright

Spindle Whorls

The data files WHORLS.TXT and WHORLS.XLS provide weights and dimensions for spindle whorls recovered at the Pedregal site. WHORLS.TXT is an ASCII text file, and WHORLS.XLS contains the same data in the form of an Excel spreadsheet. Each line represents one whorl. There are 9 lines in the text file, each with 10 variables separated by commas. The variables are, in the following order:


Bag number


Context. Excavation context number


Occupation. This variable was assigned only to contexts in excavation units, not test pits.

A= surface, windblown sediment and detritus from looting
B= wall fall/abandonment
C= stratigraphy associated with surface walls, below wall fall (Late LIP)
D= stratigraphy below/predating surface walls (Early LIP)


Sector. Designates the sector of the site (A-E).


Area. Designates specific areas within each sector.


Unit. Designates excavation unit (1-6) or test pit (PP1-33).


Weight (grams): Measured artifact weight.


Estimated Weight (grams): For incomplete whorls, weight of the complete artifact was estimated on the basis of the proportion that was present and its measured weight. For complete whorls, this is the same as the measured weight.


Thickness (cm)


Diameter (cm)


Material: raw material of the spindle whorl

The first line of the ASCII text file, for example, looks like this:


This indicates that the whorl comes from bag 1769, context 401, occupation C, Sector A, Area 2, Unit 4. It weighs 1.1 g, has an estimated weight of 1.1 g, a thickness of 0.66 cm, and a diameter of 1.136 cm. It is made out of stone.

The last, or 9th, line of the ASCII text file is:


This indicates that the whorl comes from bag 2810, context 114, occupation D, Sector A, Area 6, Unit 2. It weighs 1.9 g, has an estimated weight of 3.8 g, a thickness of 0.822 cm, and a diameter of 2.111 cm. It is made out of ceramic.

Download the file WHORLS.TXT (1 KB) or the file WHORLS.XLS (26 KB).

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