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Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Wheat milling in ancient history

It is generally believed that wheat had its origins in the regions of the ancient Eastern region of Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Levant, around 7000 B.C, although it had likely been gathered as a wild grain much earlier.

The grain was placed in a large saucer-shaped stone, a smaller rounded stone was used to crush it. Saddle querns seem to be the most common cereal grinding tools through all prehistory and early history of Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean.

The process of milling wheat into flour was revolutionized around 800 BC in Mesopotamia, when animal, water and wind power were harnessed for the first time to run the large stones used for grinding.

These mills were often constructed using good quality stones, the grinding process could have been repeated several times and finally flour was sieved.

In ancient Rome the mill and the bakery were the very same enterprise. The grains were milled and worked up without delay to dough and bread.

In the Middle Ages the milling of four became the monopoly of a few professional millers who were granted this concession by the wealthy landholders who built the large mills.

The first wind-powered mills were built in England in the 11th century, and in Belgium Luxemburg and the Netherlands in the 12th century.
Wheat milling in ancient history

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