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Reconstruction of Roman mill for production of olive oil – trapetum

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Reconstruction of a Roman olive oil mill - trapetum
Reconstruction of Roman mill for production of olive oil - trapetum | Photo: Heinz-Josef Lücking | Creative Commons: Attribution-ShareAlike

Reconstruction of a Roman mill used for the production of olive oil – known as trapetum. The machine consisted of a large bowl (mortarium), into which olives were falling, which then were crumpled by two half-round stones (orbes).

The stones were connected to the central beam (cupa), which in turn was attached to the iron rod (columella). Grinding and squeezing the oil took place with the help of the strength of the workers / slaves who turned the stones with a beam. The remains of this type of mill were found in Pompeii and come from the 1st century CE.

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