This is a RARE and COMPLETE, UNBROKEN stone grinding mill and rubbing stone used by Neolithic people from this period to grind grain for food. The rubbing pestle stone is unique in that it was originally a ground celt axe and has been re-purposed into a mill pestle. Rarely available on the market, this is an essential centerpiece of any collection of this Neolithic culture as this is what the Neolithic was all about - PREPARING food from cultivated / domesticated crops instead of relying on gathering naturally-occurring plants for food.
The large grinding basin is perfectly preserved and unbroken with a complete, intact perimeter. This is extremely rare in that it is merely an inch (2.5 cm) thick. It is pecked and shaped out of a solid slab of hard basement complex rock, and shows desert exposure patina, as well as mineralized sediments still attached. The grinding surface shows slight hollowing from use wear, with a beautiful red banding pattern in the stone face. The rubbing stone is perfect and complete, as well, with profile features that show it was once a stone celt axe. Both, the grinding basin and mortar show wonderful desert mineral patina in the crevices. The backside of the grinding basin has heavy prehistoric calcite deposits on the surface and also filling all micro-crevices - deposits that take thousands of years to develop, irrefutable evidence of authenticity.
These Capsian Neolithic mills have become so rare because they are large and extremely obvious when seen in the open desert. They stand out from anything else and are easily recognizable when exposed. For many, many decades, Saharan nomads and explorers have been scouring the desert and the majority of these mills have been picked up long ago. Hence, their extreme scarcity today.
This NEOLITHIC CAPSIAN artifact was found on an exposed African Neolithic site in the Sahara Desert in Northwest Africa. It was made and used by African Neolithic humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) between 8000 and 2700 BC.
WARNING: Authentic large African Neolithic mills have become terribly rare in today's market. Their large size have made them easy to spot by nomads and all of the Northern Sahara has been picked clean of these Neolithic mills over the past 20 years. In auctions, online sellers, shows and Ebay, fakes dominate the market. In our travels to North Africa as far back as 15 years ago, we saw a tremendous quantity of convincing fakes being produced for the collector market. One way to tell is to wash the mill off with liquid dishwasing soap, boiling hot (to remove the grease and fat that fakers use to bond the dirt), water and a scrub brush. True mills with thousands of years of impacted sediment, wind erosion and mineral encrustations, will be impossible to scrub clean and under magnification, will have deep MICROSCOPIC crevices stained and impacted with minerals. Fakes will not have this. The sheer number of fake stone tools being produced in Morocco, Mali, Mauritania and Algeria, for example, is staggering, and this junk routinely makes its way to the market every year.