A stone mortar

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A stone mortar

Much medieval food was prepared for cooking by being pounded in a mortar, a bowl usually of stone but sometimes of metal. Fragments of about 20 mortars are known from Exeter, some carved from southern English stones such as Beer stone (from Devon) and Purbeck marble (from the Dorset coast), other imported from Caen in Normandy. This unusually grand example, recovered from an Exeter garden, would have served the kitchen of a large house or an institution. It dates to the 14th or 15th century.

Acknowledgments: RAMM