Mortars and pestles are a staple of the Pharmacy profession.
A good Mortar and Pestle:
Must be hard enough to crush the substance, yet not brittle enough to break during the pounding and grinding of the material. It should be smooth and non-porous so the substance being ground will not be trapped and contaminate future preparations.
When First Used:
Can be traced back to the Stone Age
Hunters/Gatherers/Savages needed to diversify what they ate, thus to eat things such as nuts and the need to grind grains, they needed a deposit (mortar) and a grinder (pestle)
Mortar and Pestle was needed to GRIND GRAINS - First known use
Early mortars stood on three pegs/feet to make sure flat surface did not move
First Medicine Use dates back to the Egyptians (1500B.C.)
They refined the mortar and pestle
Mortar became well-defined, deep and of a conical shape for efficacy of tirturating
Pestle was long-handled to fit hands
First REAL evidence for pharmaceutical purposes is linked to early Roman Empire (~27BC)
Japan - Mochi/Moki prepared with Large Mortars with Mallets of Wood to obtain texture, often said processed by other means did not taste as good as with mortar and mallet
Hindu - Weddings and School Ceremonies, it was tradition to crush turmeric
West Asia - Used for grinding meat to make meatloaf (kebbeh) and hummus (masabcha)
Italy - Frescoes painted in the 15th Century depicted the mortar and pestle to be used by apothecaries
Caddo/Cherokee Indians - Grinded Corn
Mortar and Pestles as a Symbol
Ciment, James. “How They Lived: An Annotated Tour of Daily Life through History in Primary Sources [2 volumes]: An Annotated Tour of Daily Life through History in Primary Sources.” ABC-CLIO, 2015
Coates, Ta-Nehisi, and Kate Angus. “Ten Thousand Years of the Mortar and Pestle.” The Atlantic, 13 Jan. 2016. Web. 14 Dec. 2016.
Gramling, L.G., “A History of Pharmacy in Florida”, Ewing Printing, Gainesville, FL, 1973
Griffenhagen, George. "The Mortar and Pestle." Tools of the Apothecary (1956): 112-13. Web.
Haas, S. (n.d.). Mortar and Pestle: Old School Kitchen Tool. Retrieved December 14, 2016, from http://www.foodandnutrition.org/July-August-2013/Mortar-and-Pestle-Old-School-Kitchen-Tool/