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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Objects and Artifacts - Archeological Artifacts - Artifact Type - Metate/Grinding Slab

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Grinding Slab from the Fanning Site, 14DP1

Grinding Slab from the Fanning Site, 14DP1
Date: 1500-1700 CE
This grinding slab was recovered from the Fanning site in Doniphan County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1981. Grinding slabs like this one are the lowermost millstone for grinding foods or pigments by hand. This one has been used on both sides. The Fanning site was a Late Ceramic to early Contact Period village occupied by the Kansa.


Grinding Slab from the Fanning Site, 14DP1

Grinding Slab from the Fanning Site, 14DP1
Date: 1500-1700 CE
This grinding slab was recovered from Doniphan County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1981. A grinding slab or metate is the lowermost millstone for grinding foods or pigments by hand. Traces of a red pigment remain on one side of this example. The Fanning site was a Late Ceramic to early Contact Period village occupied by the Kansa.


Groundstone Artifact from Riley County

Groundstone Artifact from Riley County
Date: Unknown
This groundstone tool was shaped by grinding away unwanted material. It may have been used to grind food or pigment. However, the artifact is nearly too large to be a mano, the upper hand-held millstone for grinding food or pigment. So, too, is it questionable as the lower millstone used for grinding, called a metate, because of its small size.


Metate Fragment from the Country Club Site, 14CO3

Metate Fragment from the Country Club Site, 14CO3
Date: 1400-1725 CE
A metate or grinding slab is the lowermost millstone for grinding foods or pigments by hand. They are different shapes and sizes. This one was excavated from a Great Bend aspect village site (ancestral Wichita) in Cowley County during Phase IV archeological investigations in 1995. The site had been much impacted by a water line, golf greens, roads, and highways. Excavations had been occurring at the site since 1916.


Milling Stone from the Mem Site, 14MN328

Milling Stone from the Mem Site, 14MN328
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This milling stone was excavated in 1986 during a highway salvage project at the Mem site, undertaken by Kansas Historical Society archeologists and Kansas Anthropological Association volunteers. This groundstone tool was used as the lowermost stone for grinding plant material. Groundstone tools like this one are made by pecking a hard stone into a rough shape and then grinding and polishing it into its final state. The Mem site, in Marion County, is a Great Bend aspect, ancestral Wichita village site.


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