The Role of Metates in Ancient Cultures

This is an ongoing project.

Faculty Researcher: Tamara Bray

Contact Details

Tamara Bray


Metates were a common kitchen artifact of ancient households. These carefully shaped stone slabs, together with their companion manos, were used for purposes of grinding foodstuffs. Interestingly, they are also often found in burial contexts, they are sometimes elaborately decorated, and they are sometimes purposefully broken. This research project involves collecting quantitative and qualitative data on metates from archaeological contexts in South America.


Undergraduate majors in Anthropology, Geology, and Material Sciences are especially welcome to apply. Students with some background in Archaeology (e.g., ANT 2200, 3020, or any field school) will receive priority consideration. Some familiarity with Spanish is also desirable.

Project Timeline

Jan1-April 30
3-5 hrs/wk


-Literature searches
-Preparation of annotated bibliography on articles about archaeological metates
-Quantitative data collection and entry in Excel

Project-related Tags

Last Updated

October 29, 2021