THE BEGINNINGS OF MILL
Prehistoric inhabitants of our regions were engaged in agriculture since the Neolitic and Bronze Ages, cultivating grains such as wheat, barley and other cereal. They didn’t know how to grind the grains, and would, instead, crush them by using a sort of a pestle, which was designed to be held in the hand. This technique was later improved with the use of two flat stones, obtaining flour by rubbing the upper one against the lower one, which was larger and immobile.
It is not known exactly when mills were invented, but the fact that Zeus himself was associated with the name of a “Miller” (Myleus), makes us think that the age of the millstone could be traced back to at least Greek Antiquity. It is well known that water mills existed in Asia Minor at the time of Mithridates the Great, the King of Pontus, born in 134 BC. The first millstones were small, similar to present-day grindstones.
The first millstones were brought to the Eastern Adriatic Coast by Greek colonizers. Later on, the Roman invaders expanded them to the area of the entire Balkan Peninsula, where they were used even after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. In addition to water mills, there also existed grindstones – querns or small hand mills.