Maybe I just hadn’t realized it previously, but I’ve recently come to appreciate the wealth of information about ancient daily life held in museums. Take for example this Egyptian model of a woman grinding grain. It is held by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In a bid to share its collection with the public, the museum has made avialable high quality pictures of some if its collection to the public without any copyright restrictions. That means I can put it on my blog, use it in my thesis and don’t have to be worried about putting it there. And it allows us to understand how women would have ground grain in the ancient world. As mentioned in the previous post Grinding Grain, similar querns and grinding stones were found in Israel from the Neolithic to Hellenistic times. Grain would have poured onto the quern at the higher end, the stone moved back and forth, so that the grain is slowly ground to flour. The flour would then fall off the sides and front of the stone. Grinding grain – especially wheat – would have been a daily task.
So go and look at some of the museum websites, or maybe even visit your local museum. There are amazing collections there and what’s better – the museums are willing to share it with the public.