Artemis Chrysselakatos (of the golden distaff)
Artemis was the protector of female handicraft and weaving. Loom weights, whorls and epinetra were dedicated to the sanctuary in honour of the goddess who holds the golden distaff (the stick used for turning wool into thread). Dedications of incomplete garments, wool and weft have also been interpreted as dedications to the goddess as a symbol of her status as protector of handicraft and weaving.
Weaving was a basic (and highly sophisticated) qualification for women in the antiquity. In every house there was a room isolated from the rest which was specially bound for weaving called histonas (the room of webs) or gynekonites (known in english as women’s quarters)
Raw materials for weaving came from animals (wool, goat’s hair), plants (linen, hemp), mineral (lime, asbestos), and metals (silver and gold threads)
The main clothing material was wool. There were three stages for turning wool into thread. Women washed the crude wool, spread it to dry and beat it with canes to remove useless materials. The clean wool was carded with combs and was placed in a work basket. Then it was laid on a special vessel, the epinetron, a clay implement in the shape of a roof time, which was placed on the thigh for rubbing the wool. The final stage was spinning it with the distaff and the spindle so as to produce thread.
(pictured above: whorls and fragments from epinetra)