Ancient Crush

Yam lower stone for crushing olives AmitaiAsif

Photo: Amitai Asif

 

You’ve seen nations

Rise

And fall,

Felt oil

Extracted

From trees’ toil.

You’ve seen

The farmers

Tend the soil,

Bread dipped

To nourish

Heart and soul,

As children laughed

And played

And lived

And died

Through centuries of

War and spoil,

While you remained

Above the boil,

Till peace returns

For olives’ roil.

 

 

Note: The photo is of an ancient base stone (called “Yam” in Hebrew) of the grinding stones that are used for the first step of extracting oil from olives. A current-day olive grove can be seen in the background to the left. Olives were first domesticated about 6,000 years ago, likely in the Mediterranean basin. Documented history of deliberate oil pressing can be found as early as 4,500 years ago (around 2,500BCE).

To this day, making olive oil involves several stages of crushing and rinsing to extract the oil. In many places, olives are still harvested by hand or by beating the fruit off of the trees. The olives are then washed, and crushed by milling stones (traditionally between a bottom stone like the one in the photo and one or two mill stone that stand perpendicular to it and roll around the base stone). The millstone/s were historically moved by use of man-power or animal power, and in some places still are. The pulp is placed in woven bags or baskets, then the baskets themselves are pressed. The liquid from the press bags gets drawn into a reservoir where oil is left to settle and separate. Oil is then skimmed off and allowed to settle again, sometimes repeatedly, to remove impurities.

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Ancient

 

 

A Bell To Tell

bell boy SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Ephstein

 

What lesson does history tell

Of shattered bits,

And scratched on bells?

Can peals of old

Be heard

Be said

So we not ruin

What’s ahead?

 

 

For the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: History

 

Floored

paphos mosaic1 SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

Not a rug

But a floor

You’ll be floored

To adore

As you find

Even more

To marvel

Galore.

 

paphos mosaic3 smadarhalperinepshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

 

For the Tuesday Photo Challenge: Floor

 

Carved Time

ancient cyprus1 SmadarHalperinEpshtein (2)

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

Long years had

Carved the stone

And cleaved to blue

The sky,

Yet puffy clouds

Still gawk as they

Meander

Idly by.

 

 

For the December Squares Challenge

 

 

Horse Spirit

Photo: Palaeolithic art at Foz Côa’s Archaeological Park, Portugal 

 

“Why do you hit the rock with sharpened stones?”

Golin quaked under The Elder’s frown. It was forbidden to harm The Rocks That Shelter. The big stones protected them from biting teeth and snarling maws. They stopped the wind. They held back scorching sun. They reflected heat from fires.

And let flames paint shadows, Golin thought.

“He will drive away Horse Spirit and we will starve,” Morsen scowled predictably.

“Let him answer,” The Elder said.

Morsen seethed. The old man always favored Golin.

“The Rocks That Shelter do not anger when the fire lives in them,” Golin pointed at the dancing reflection on the wall.

“He makes no sense,” Morsen pouted. A few others nodded but The Elder’s stony gaze did not leave Golin’s face.

“They draw the fire near,” Golin stressed. Couldn’t they see? “Perhaps The Rocks That Shelter will welcome Horse Spirit and call it here.”

 

 

For What Pegman Saw: Douro, Portugal

 

Path to Light

Path to light SmadarHalperinEpshtein

Photo: Smadar Halperin-Epshtein

 

A long way stretches forward

Past the past

Toward light,

As they walk

In the footsteps

Of those who’d been here

And passed.

 

 

For the Which Way challenge

And Lens-Artists Challenge: Path

 

Long Unseen

Archeology Tel Zafit AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

As the stories unfold

Pried from time’s

Stranglehold

Bit by bit

You’ll behold

What the fingers

Of old

Would have seen

Could have told.

 

For the d’Verse Poets challenge: Unseen Things

 

Broken Whole

grindstone base AtaraKatz

Photo: Atara Katz

 

As the cracked places show

Marks of toil

Disavowed

And the grooves of grain passed

Whisper tales of

Repast

Broken pieces reflect

Wholeness more than

Regret.

 

 

For The Daily Post