At just 4 grams, this unusual whorl is one of lightest of the 147 excavated at Tel Anafa. It is made of stone, rather than the lightweight bone more often used. Spindle whorls typically feature rounded, bulbous profiles, but here the rare, concave shaping may have served to lessen its heft. Whorls act as flywheels when combined with a shaft known as a spindle. When set in motion, the momentum of turning twists strands of plant or animal fibers, smoothing the surfaces and creating greater tensile strength. Small whorls such as this one work well with short stranded wool fibers, but could also have been used with longer-stranded flax. Whatever the fiber, the result would have been exceptionally fine thread. The quantity of lightweight whorls excavated at the site suggests either a local preference for textiles with high thread counts or an indication that production exceeded household needs. Small, round artifacts with narrow center holes are often assumed to be beads, but here the asymmetry and flat profile may eliminate that possibility. The essential characteristic of an effective whorl is the position of the shaft hole: anything off center produces uneven torque rendering it useless.  This whorl, intentionally carved from stone instead of shaped from malleable terracotta, is a testament to the skill required to make an efficient and elegant tool.
 Larson and Erdman, TA II, iii, p. 165 and p. 172, table 1.
 Janet Levy and Isaac Gilead, “Spinning in the 5th Millennium in the Southern Levant: Aspects of the Textile Economy,” Paléorient 38, no. 1/2 (2012): 128.
 Eva Andersson Strand, Textile Terminologies in the Ancient Near East and Mediterranean from the Third to the First Millennnia BC, ed. Cécile Michel and M.-L. Nosch (Oakville, CT: Oxbow Books, 2010), pp. 11–12.
 R.K. Liu, “Spindle Whorls: Pt. 1, Some Comments and Speculations,” The Bead Journal, no. 3 (1978), p. 98.
 Liu, 99; Larson and Erdman (above, n. 1), p. 160; Lindy Crewe, Spindle Whorls: A Study of Form, Function and Decoration in Prehistoric Bronze Age Cyprus, Poc edition (Jonsered: Coronet Books, 1998), pp. 11–13.