View of a typical olive grinder. This one is made out of local limestone. After the olives were harvested in the fall of the year, the olives were brought to such a grinder. The olives were placed inside the depression of the large lower stone and then the wheel–shaped upper stone (visible on the left) was rotated over them as one or two persons pushed on the large wooden beam (the one slanting down in the right side of the image). The wheel–shaped stone turned and rotated around over the olives inside the large fixed lower basin.
After the crushing, the olives were placed in baskets, and then pressure was applied to the baskets to squeeze out the olive oil. The oil was then stored and used for cooking, lighting, cleansing, anointing, etc.
This olive crusher is on the grounds of Neot Kedummim – the biblical garden located on the coastal plain between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in Israel.
This image courtesy of Jerry Hawkes.