Metate, Central America

In Mesoamerica, women used metates (grinding stones) of volcanic rock for food preparation. A pestle-like tool was worked back and forth on the stone, processing domesticated maize and seeds into a paste.

The earliest known metates made in stylised animal forms, such as this one, date to around 800AD. 

Accession number: Founding Collection; 1884.10.26

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