One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in Central America) a flat or slightly hollowed oblong stone on which materials such as grain and cocoa are ground using a smaller stone.
- ‘Ubelaker has associated such joint modifications in the remains of prehistoric Ecuadorian women with corn-grinding using a two-handed mano and slab metate.’
- ‘With stone roller on metate, she grinds the corn, then grinds again.’
- ‘As we walked on, we came to a mesa with slabs of rock and about a hundred metates.’
- ‘In indigenous villages, women often make the tortillas the traditional way by grinding corn with a rounded pestle on a flat lava stone called a piedra or metate and baking the flat corn disks on a dry, clay platter known as a comal.’
- ‘There was a long tradition of amazing stonework in ancient Costa Rica, which includes spectacular ‘flying panel’ metates [corn-grinding flats] and other objects carved of basalt.’
- ‘Ground or pecked stone tools include hammerstones, anvils, cobble manos, metates, and a possible net sinker.’
From American Spanish, from Nahuatl métatl.
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