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A first approach to women, tools and operational sequences in traditional manual cereal grinding

  • Natàlia AlonsoEmail author
Original Paper
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Abstract

The milling of cereals, other plants and materials is an activity that is essential to the subsistence of human societies. It is a task carried out for the most part by women. Querns are the most representative archaeological artefacts of this activity. However, querns are only a part of more complex operational sequences that stretch beyond these mechanisms and involve other tools such as mortars and sieves that yield a much broader range of cereal products than those commonly identified. This paper reviews a selection of publications from recent decades address this subject from the point of view of ethnography, ethnoarchaeology and archaeobotany, and takes into account a number of features serving to process the more common types of cereals.

Keywords

Women Querns Rotary querns Mortars Cereals Traditional grinding 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This research has been funded by the European Research Council (ERC), in the context of Project PLANTCULT 'Identifying the Food Cultures of Ancient Europe", conducted under the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program (Grant Agreement no. 682529), Consolidator Grant 2016–2021. I thank Timothy J. Anderson, Ferran Antolín, Tania Valamoti and the anonymous reviewers for their improvements to the text. The English translation was carried out by T. J. Anderson.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GIP-3DPatrimoni (SGR2017-1714, HAR2016-78277-R), Departament d’Història, Facultat de Lletres, INDESTUniversitat de LleidaLleidaSpain

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