interest in grinding stones provides important context for the statues

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ayed

Senior Member
Arabic(Saudi)
Hello, folks.

Context: archaeology

I'm unable to find the relationship between grindstones and statues?

"Numerous grindstones are found across the site, which perhaps used like pestle and mortars to process resources such as grass seeds. This interest in grinding stones provides important context for the statues from the site, as the early inhabitants of the site were clearly adapting at modifying stone in various ways."

Any one could clarify this ambiguous lines for me?

Thanks
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    You haven't given us the source, and there are some errors in the transcription, ayed.
    But the idea is clear: both the grindstones and the statues show that the early inhabitants of the site could work stone.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    What do you mean that you "have titled" the report "Al-Magar Survey Report"? How could you have given it a title if you didn't write it? Who did write it, what did that person title it, and where can it be found?
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    "Numerous grindstones are found across the site, which perhaps used like pestle and mortars to process resources such as grass seeds. This interest in grinding stones provides important context for the statues from the site, as the early inhabitants of the site were clearly adapting at modifying stone in various ways."
    There are several mistakes involving word usage and grammar here, but the underlying intention of the author is clear: because the inhabitants could make stone grindstones, they could possibly make statues.

    But from the context, it's not clear whether the statues and the grindstones were found in contemporary archaeological levels or whether they were the same kind of stone. So, speaking as someone who has read many archaeological reports, I don't see the logical connection between the grindstones and the statues either.

    What specifically do you not understand?
     

    ayed

    Senior Member
    Arabic(Saudi)
    Wow! Thanks so much, Roxxxannne!

    "Numerous grindstones are found across the site, which perhaps used like pestle and mortars to process resources such as grass seeds. This interest in grinding stones provides important context for the statues from the site, as the early inhabitants of the site were clearly adapting at modifying stone in various ways."
    There are several mistakes involving word usage and grammar here, but the underlying intention of the author is clear: because the inhabitants could make stone grindstones, they could possibly make statues.

    But from the context, it's not clear whether the statues and the grindstones were found in contemporary archaeological levels or whether they were the same kind of stone. So, speaking as someone who has read many archaeological reports, I don't see the logical connection between the grindstones and the statues either.

    What specifically do you not understand?
    Your clarification is understandable, though what is in red still ambiguous to me
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    But from the context, it's not clear whether the statues and the grindstones were found in contemporary archaeological levels
    "grinding stones provides important context for the statues" I don't think the author would say this otherwise.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    "grinding stones provides important context for the statues" I don't think the author would say this otherwise.
    That's probably true, but I said from the [written] context on purpose. I meant that the quotation doesn't provide evidence.
    And archaeologists do fantasize more than one would like, sometimes.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    Wow! Thanks so much, Roxxxannne!


    Your clarification is understandable, though what is in red still ambiguous to me
    It's ambiguous to me too.

    Typically, 'context' in archaeology involves the physical area in which something is found, which gives us some indication of how the thing was used.
    But in this case, the grindstones are not a place. I think the author means that the existence of the grindstones is evidence for the inhabitants' being able to work stone, which gives us a non-literal 'area' -- a situation -- in which statue-making could have taken place.

    There are enough mistakes generally in this passage that I can't be sure of what is actually meant.

    Al-Magar is a Neolithic site in Saudi Arabia. Is this quotation a translation from a survey report in Arabic?
     

    ayed

    Senior Member
    Arabic(Saudi)
    It's ambiguous to me too.

    Typically, 'context' in archaeology involves the physical area in which something is found, which gives us some indication of how the thing was used.
    But in this case, the grindstones are not a place. I think the author means that the existence of the grindstones is evidence for the inhabitants' being able to work stone, which gives us a non-literal 'area' -- a situation -- in which statue-making could have taken place.

    There are enough mistakes generally in this passage that I can't be sure of what is actually meant.

    Al-Magar is a Neolithic site in Saudi Arabia. Is this quotation a translation from a survey report in Arabic?
    No, it is originally written in English.

    I understood "to provide important context" as this:
    The inhabitants of site were quite good at making implements out of stones. So, inhabitants' skill in stone-shaping functioned as a suitable environment for them to statrt carving even statues. They started from scratch by manufacturing small implements and ended by making huge things(statues)?

    Is my explanations sound right, or am I off topic?
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    To me this text reads like an introduction to the topic and I would continue reading in that document to see what kind of links the author makes between grinder and statue.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    No, it is originally written in English.

    I understood "to provide important context" as this:
    The inhabitants of site were quite good at making implements out of stones. So, inhabitants' skill in stone-shaping functioned as a suitable environment for them to statrt carving even statues. They started from scratch by manufacturing small implements and ended by making huge things(statues)?

    Is my explanations sound right, or am I off topic?
    https://scth.gov.sa/en/ebook/Documents/p17/AlMagar/AlMagar.pdf, section 5.6
    includes "Numerous ‘grindstones’ are found across the site (e.g., Figure 31), which were perhaps used like pestle and mortars to process resources such as grass seeds. ... In combination with the statues found at the site, this suggests the early inhabitants of Al-Magar were clearly adept at modifying stone in various ways."
    There's nothing in this report that I found that says that there was a progression from making grindstones to making large statues. The report is of a surface survey and a 1 meter by 1/2 meter test trench. Neither of those archaeological activities is sufficient to describe stone-working practices through time. Although the inhabitants of al-Magar probably did start by making grindstones and at some later point made statues, there's nothing in the report or the quotation that you supplied that states that there's archaeological evidence for that.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    There's nothing in this report that I found that says that there was a progression from making grindstones to making large statues.
    It's not trying to say that. It says they made grindstones and they made statues, therefore they "were clearly adapting at modifying stone in various ways."
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    It's not trying to say that. It says they made grindstones and they made statues, therefore they "were clearly adapting at modifying stone in various ways."
    Yes, I agree. The report I found online says "In combination with the statues found at the site, this suggests the early inhabitants of Al-Magar were clearly adept at modifying stone in various ways."

    But ayed said "They started from scratch by manufacturing small implements and ended by making huge things(statues)?
    and I said that that's probably true, but the report I found online doesn;t say that's the case.

    Note that 'adapting at' in the OP is a mistranscription of 'adept at.'
     
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