How Was Flour Made in Ancient Times?

In ancient times, flour was made by hand using a process that involved grinding grains between two stones. This method was used for centuries before the invention of modern milling machines. Today, flour is readily available at any grocery store, but it is interesting to learn about how our ancestors made it.

The Process

To make flour in ancient times, people first had to harvest the grains. These grains were then placed on a flat surface and beaten with a stick to remove any dirt or debris. Once they were cleaned, the grains were placed into a mortar and pounded with a pestle until they were broken down into smaller pieces.


The next step was to grind the grains into flour. Typically, two stones were used for this process – one flat and one slightly concave. The grains were poured onto the flat stone, and the concave stone was used to grind them into flour by moving it back and forth over the grains.


After grinding, the flour was sifted through a fine mesh sieve to remove any larger pieces of grain or debris that may have remained. The sifted flour was then placed into a container for storage until it was needed.

Tools Used

The tools used for making flour in ancient times included:

  • Mortar and pestle: Used for pounding the grains
  • Flat stone: Used for pouring the grains onto during grinding
  • Concave stone: Used for grinding the grains into flour
  • Fine mesh sieve: Used for sifting out larger pieces of grain/debris from the flour


While making flour by hand may seem like a labor-intensive process compared to today’s modern methods, it allowed people to have access to a staple ingredient that was essential for survival. The process of making flour in ancient times required patience, skill, and hard work, but it also provided a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when the final product was produced. Today, we can appreciate the convenience of readily available flour, but it’s fascinating to learn about how our ancestors made this important ingredient.