A Basalt Canaanite Pestal and Mortar
Imagine for a moment the rough scraping sound of this well-worked mortar and pestle as a heady mixture of herbs and spice were ground to bits by able arms of an ancient Canaanite for a meal from the region’s bounty. The historic Canaanites used herbs in their meals for the same reasons we do ourselves, but it is important to realize that their lives a thousand years ago also allowed for leisure time to cook and flavor one’s own food for the simple pleasure of taking a meal.
Much of the preparation of these ancient meals required a great deal of physical output, as evidenced by the bulk of this ancient mortar and pestle. This piece alone is a veritable monument to our electric-powered kitchenware that blend, chop, mix and grind for us every day. The mortar’s three legs are made from the same thick stone that makes up its broad flat workspace, while the rim flares at a short angle, protruding four decorated handles with some light pattern work and wear. The pestle has been specially crafted to fit snugly in a clenched fist as it works to press the nub-like tool against the mortar’s surface.
This mortar and pestle remains in excellent condition and comes from the Baidun Family’s personal collection.