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The processing techniques of cereals are: crushing, maceration, pounding. Schematically it's possible to connect a single tool with a single technique: maceration – pottery mortar; pounding – stone or wooden mortar; crushing – grindstone. Examining the various kinds of cereals in antiquity and the food coming from them, we can define the proper function of the pottery mortar: a tool which allowed at the same time the husking of the grain and maceration to obtain a creamy mixture. Although the mortar never changed its function and structure, its shape underwent modifications: this peculiarity made it possible to sketch a typology of Greek and Etruscan mortars in the period ranging from the VI to the II century B. C. In the typology of Greek mortars we can distinguish four main groups, each one showing a number of variants; on the other side, the typology of Etruscan mortars is simply articulated in four groups. The contexts in which the mortars were found are: the commercial and productive one (shops and factories), the domestic one, the funeral one (tombs) and finally the sacral one (temples).