This paper is an attempt to interpret certain stones, which have come to light recently on ancient sites in Karia, as parts of ancient oil-presses, on the ground that they are well adapted to fulfil certain purposes which are still essential to the modern native process of oil extraction in that part of Asia Minor and in the adjacent islands. The inference is that the ancient process closely resembled the modern in the principal features which are recounted below.
The Modern Method of extracting olive oil consists of the two processes of grinding and pressing.
In the most primitive mode of grinding which is still in use, the olives are crushed either on a flat stone by a roller, or in a stone trough by a millstone rolling on its edge. In more modern grinders two mill-stones are used, which revolve in a circular trough, as in the grinding of kaolin or cement. The process of grinding seems never to have varied, except as regards the power which is employed; horses having been substituted for men, and steam for horses. In Algeria and Tripoli the circular trough goes back at least to Roman times.