Station: [205] Agricultural Implements and Crops

The display cases in the middle of the room contain a selection of tools that were used for harvesting grain, for grinding it to make flour, and for eating with; they include flint sickle blades, querns consists of stones and runners and spoons. Several sickle blades have been attached to lightly curved wooden shafts.  Some of these flint blades appear to have a layer of varnish along the cutting edge; this is known as ‘sickle gleam’, and was caused by the silicic acid contained in grasses such as cereals for example.  

Einkorn and emmer were originally grown, which were early forms of the wheat that is grown today. They were cultivated from wild grasses more than 10,000 years ago in the Near East. Inside the well, were not only charred and non-charred grains, but even two entire ears. What’s more, pulses such as peas and lentils and oil-bearing plants such as flax were cultivated as well.

A rarer find were the large quantities of poppy and henbane seeds found inside the well.  Poppy seeds were used as intoxicants and for medicinal purposes and henbane, black henbane otherwise known as the “witches’ herb,” was used as a narcotic.  

The bone finds provided evidence of the early presence of house mice. Insect remains include corn weevils, cadelle beetles, and golden spider beetles; all parasites that posed a threat to harvests and stores.

The fields and gardens lay close to the settlements. After the harvest, the ears of grain would be threshed.  Containers and earth pits were used for storage. The grains were ground into flour with a quern while, dome ovens built of clay and willow rods were used to bake bread. Clay pots above an open fire were used for cooking. Wooden implements such as spoons were used for stirring and eating with.