Monday, July 27, 2009

Prehistoric Grinding Stone

My previous post about the discovery of granaries which were thought to predate agriculture (domestication of plants) by about 1000 years, included a photo and illustration of one of the granaries.

This was interesting:
"The outer walls of the structure, which was constructed ~11,300 - 11,200 BP, are defined by a partially preserved mud wall. Inside the structure are used grinding stones in upright position that have been notched to hold wooden beams."
Used grinding stones? Wikipedia gives this photo of a Neolithic grinding stone, used "to grind up grains by swaying":


Click to enlarge.

That looks like barley to me, but I'm not sure, could be wheat. The seed also looks too large and starchy, too domesticated, to be a good representation of the wild grains found at the site.

It makes me wonder just how long ago humans were eating processed grains. By the looks of this, and from my reading, it was long before farming took off.
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2 comments:

Anrosh said...

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=grinding+stone+in+india

in the above link i have used the 3rd picture mostly to grind spices and making a paste of ginger, garlic and coconut - makes a tasty chutney

the 11th picture is used for grinding grains.

when we were young and before the electric grinder ( mixer )came home my mother grindied various dals to make batter - to make pancake like flat bread.

a similar one but a pestle with a long stick was used to dry ground spices in huge quantities.

it is still used in various parts of india and my mother still uses it sometimes

and stone ground in such mortars is heavenly ( no grinder can substitute this ) it gives daily exercise to the upper muscles - phew!

electricity is still a miracle to many people -stone ground is the way to go for them because it is economical and cheap

Bix said...

Anrosh ... those are fantastic photos. The similarity is incredible.

I am privileged in that I have electricity. It does go out maybe 6 or 7 times a year. What a lesson those times are.