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(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This rock was a mortar - a grinding stone - used by Native Americans living in present-day Whately, Massachusetts. It was found by George Sheldon, one of Deerfield's first historians, and brought to the front of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association's museum, where it stands today. It is a glaciated boulder, of a type not entirely common, which has been modified for a purpose. The rock, formerly rounded, was carefully carved or split to form the platform in the center. That area is broader to the right, forming a perfect surface for a cylindrical grinder. The grain that was harvested in the autumn (usually corn) would be ground into flour using this method.
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