Threshing (agriculture)

Threshing (agriculture). It is an ancient agricultural tool that was intended to separate wheat from straw, that is, to thresh. It is a thick board, made of several boards, rectangular or trapezoidal in shape, with the front part somewhat narrower and curved upwards like a sled and whose belly is trimmed with sharp stone chips, or metal saws.

Summary

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  • 1 Description
  • 2 Use
  • 3 Consistency
  • 4 History
    • 1 The threshing in the Bible
    • 2 The threshing in classical sources
    • 3 Threshing since the Middle Ages
  • 5 Other threshers
  • 6 Sources

Description

Threshes are usually up to two meters long, per meter and a half wide (approximately). With smaller threshes, up to a meter wide by a meter and a half long, more or less. The thickness of the threshing slats is about five or six centimeters. However, as currently, threshing machines are made to measure, to order, or smaller ones are prepared, such as adornment or souvenir, they can range, from miniatures, to the sizes mentioned.

Use

This different implement, such as threshing, is used for threshing and can still be seen in some regions of Europe , where marginal agriculture is practiced; Although, sometimes, it is done as a folkloric and ceremonial act, to recall ancient local customs. In the last years of the use of the thresher, it was pulled by small tractors, so the thresher was replaced by a tractor driver and the thresher was too light, making the stones even more necessary.

Consistency

The Spanish threshing machines were manufactured in certain specialized centers since, although the woodwork was simple, even rough, the carving of the stones on its belly required a certain specialization typical of a trade that passed from father to son, the briquettes. There is evidence of the manufacture of threshing machines in Astudillo (Palencia), Pedrajas de San Esteban (Valladolid), Villavieja de Yeltes ( Salamanca ), Santa María la Real de Nieva ( Segovia ), Ariza ( Zaragoza ), Albalate del Arzobispo10 and Blesa ( Teruel) and others. But, in Spain , (the city of trillos) par excellence was always Cantalejo ( Segovia ).

History

To thresh with the threshing, the sheaves were first brought into the threshing floor. Some were piled up in stacks, waiting for their turn, and others untied themselves and spread out in a circle, forming the flock that heated in the sun. Then, a first round of eight twists and turns was given with the threshing machine, several times, mashing the crop and stirring the parva with the one-piece wood turner or pitchfork with two, three and even four horns. Sometimes this work was done with a different threshing machine called wheels or cutting that was provided with a series of rollers with transverse metal blades. This first trip separated the long straw bala of the cereal from the chaff cut straw and grain without husking, as well as other brush, all mixed and not cleaned. After each pass, the parva was turned as indicated, taking the balago to the edges. If it was scattered, it was raked and swept to remake the threshing circle and, if possible, all the possible waste was removed. After returning the pellets again, and letting them sit and dry during the noon break, a second round of twists and turns was made, this time with flint threshing, often called a trail, which had just finished reeling. parva, which was piled high with harrows, brooms and pitchforks. The threshing was carried by two oxen, or two mules by means of a chain or a strap attached to a hook that was in the front lath. The driver, called trillique, not only guided the cattle, but he weighed and, if this was not enough, large stones were also placed. it was raked and swept to remake the threshing circle and, if possible, all the possible waste was removed. After returning the pellets again, and letting them sit and dry during the noon break, a second round of twists and turns was made, this time with flint threshing, often called a trail, which had just finished reeling. parva, which was piled high with harrows, brooms and pitchforks. The threshing was carried by two oxen, or two mules by means of a chain or a strap attached to a hook that was in the front lath. The driver, called trillique, not only guided the cattle, but he weighed and, if this was not enough, large stones were also placed. it was raked and swept to remake the threshing circle and, if possible, all the possible waste was removed. After returning the pellets again, and letting them rest and dry during the midday break, a second round of twists and turns was made, this time with flint threshing, often called a trail, which had just finished reeling. parva, which was piled high with harrows, brooms and pitchforks. The threshing was carried by two oxen, or two mules by means of a chain or a strap attached to a hook that was in the front lath. The driver, called trillique, not only guided the cattle, but he weighed and, if this was not enough, large stones were also placed. and let them rest and dry during the midday break, there was a second round of twists and turns, this time with a flint threshing, often called a trail, which had just broken off the flock, which was piled up with harrows, brooms and pitchforks. The threshing was carried by two oxen, or two mules by means of a chain or a strap attached to a hook that was in the front lath. The driver, called trillique, not only guided the cattle, but he weighed and, if this was not enough, large stones were also placed. and let them rest and dry during the midday break, there was a second round of twists and turns, this time with a flint threshing, often called a trail, which had just broken off the flock, which was piled up with harrows, brooms and pitchforks. The threshing was carried by two oxen, or two mules by means of a chain or a strap attached to a hook that was in the front lath. The driver, called trillique, not only guided the cattle, but he weighed and, if this was not enough, large stones were also placed. or two mules by means of a chain or a strap attached to a hook on the front slat. The driver, called trillique, not only guided the cattle, but he weighed and, if this was not enough, large stones were also placed. or two mules by means of a chain or a strap attached to a hook on the front slat. The driver, called trillique, not only guided the cattle, but he weighed and, if this was not enough, large stones were also placed.

When the parva was too flat, two large metal arches were placed behind the threshing that turned and hollowed the straw when the threshing passed; these pieces are also called tornaderas. After finishing the threshing, the era had to be cleaned well so that the remains were not mixed with the next gravel, first with the harrow, to move what was heavier, and then with strong brooms called ternilla, made with the bushes of the same name broom broom: Cytisus scoparius. The straw was also cared for and stored, as it was a good food supplement for livestock and served as fuel for glory, for example. The entire process produces a very fine powder, which gets into the airways and sticks to the throat, especially in the sweep, it is chaff.

During the sweep, it was separated in the terreguero that is a place separated from the era to throw the despoil, the brush, depleted and without grain, of the grain the almost clean grain. The grind was finished cleaning, either by traditional methods, winnowing and with screens; or with mechanical cleaners, which, in Spain, coexisted for many years with threshing machines until both were replaced by modern combines, late in the years.

Threshing in the Bible

The word trillo comes from the Latin tribulum, a neutral noun, derived from the verb tribulare, which literally means to break something, to crush it. It has, therefore, the same etymological root as tribulation that is a torment or an adversity that persecutes a person. Something trite is, also, something very trampled, for that reason, sometimes it is spoken of trodden paths to refer to paths traveled many times. Metaphorically, something very trite can refer to a very common topic, very hackneyed for redundancy.

This beginning is made through a circumlocution for good reasons, since we are going to talk about the symbolic references to threshing and threshing in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament where the name of this artifact is mogag. These quotes also have a lot to do with the aspect we have just discussed, the triplet as a symbol of power in the Middle East. However, in this section we will encounter the problem of the various translations, versions and eschatological interpretations of the passages treated.

The first Biblical news of the threshing is in the book of Deuteronomy, the last book of the Christian Pentateuch and the Jewish Torah. Aside from more scholarly interpretations, only dense wants to highlight that much of the Pentateuch is intended to strengthen the ties of the Jewish community, after the Exodus, once established in the Promised Land. The Jews, since the time of Abraham, had been a nomadic people or in continuous movement, the sedentarization could provoke a religious crisis; For this reason, great zeal is placed in protecting themselves from external influences, in maintaining the purity of their traditions, their morals and their religion, trying to avoid contamination by idolaters. The quote is in Deuteronomy 25: 4. It is as it is seen, one more of the laws compiled in this Book. the danger is that the gods of the sedentary are territorial and Yahweh is unique, wherever his people are,

Threshing in classical fountains

The poor development of cereal agriculture in Classical Greece led those who did not get to use the known threshing just a little further north, from thousands of years ago. Since they preferred to import cereals and dedicate their lands to more specific tasks, cereal techniques were never developed too much. According to Struve, who quotes, in part, verses from the Iliad ( XVIII, 551 et seq), the threshing was done by trampling oxen: “A field of high ears of corn was cutting the reapers, shining in their hands the sharp sickles; Along the furrow were the bundles, and with them three men were forming sheaves, receiving them from the hands of children who were reaching them incessantly. The threshing was done in one era, using oxen for this task. The grain was then winnowed and ground in manual grinders.

In addition to Greece and Rome , which we will deal with immediately, we cannot fail to mention Carthage, which, among other places, colonized the southeast of the Iberian Peninsula in the 2nd century BC. C. The Carthaginians had great agricultural knowledge, inherited from its eastern past, much higher than the Roman provincialism of the time. His methods astonished travelers like Agatocles or Régulo, they were even the inspiration for the writings of Varrón and Plinio. A well-known Carthaginian agronomist, Magon, wrote a treatise that was translated into Latin by order of the Roman Senate itself. Nowadays the descriptions of the Tunisian fields are amazing, today deserted, but then full of olive groves and wheat fields. In the case of Hispania, it is known that the Carthaginians introduced various crops, especially fruit crops and some machines, such as the trail threshing, that is, the most common and the roller, called in their honor plostellum punicum.

In Ancient Rome , unlike the religious dimensions that it acquires in Israel , threshing is appreciated from a purely economic point of view. The subject is discussed, above all, in agricultural books, written by experts in the field, such as Cato the Elder or the censor, Varrón, Columela, and the aforementioned Pliny the Elder.

Threshing since the Middle Ages

This is the Middle Ages in a very broad sense, without going into much detail and focusing essentially on Western Europe, as it is very difficult to find reliable documents on threshing at the time. The recession caused by the barbarian invasions also affected agriculture, losing many of the most advanced techniques, including threshing, which was completely foreign to the Germanic tradition. Eastern Mediterranean areasInstead, they preserved it, passing into the Muslim culture where it took deep root. Both the Visigothic kingdom and the Christian area during the reconquest were almost unaware of the threshing although it never disappeared. The degradation not only affects the economy, but also the sources that exist to study it, with or with which we are facing a documentary vacuum that is difficult to avoid.

Regarding the Iberian peninsula , it is certain that, in the Islamic area, threshing continued to be very popular, which helped to recover its tradition by Christians in their advance. This fact coincides with a general recovery across Europe . The economic boom begins in the early eleventh century; experts often talk about the increase in the extent of broken land, the generalization of draft animals, first oxen, thanks to the front yoke, and then horses, thanks to the shoulder collar, the increase in iron tools and improvements in blacksmithing, the appearance of the moldboard plow, often with wheels and the increase of water mills, steelworks. Livestock became a sign of progress: the emergence of a less dependent and more prosperous peasantry capable of buying draft animals and even plows. The peasants in possession of their own plow with one or two animals were a small elite, pampered by the feudal lord, who acquired his own status, that of farmers, far above the rest, the braceros whose only tool was their own arms.Western Europe , where the flail remained the preferred instrument.

On the other hand, in Spain , the weight of the old Mediterranean tradition could make a difference: Professor Julio Caro Baroja]] admits that, for Spain , the trillo appears quoted or represented in works of art. Specifically, it mentions some Romanesque reliefs in Beleña ( Salamanca ) and Campisábalos (Guadalajara]]), both from the 12th century.28 A document written in 1265 can be added , in which a Doña Mayor, widow of a certain Don Arnal, collector of tithes of the portazgo of wool cattle and, therefore, a person of good position, leaves the Salamanca council its inheritance of Valcuevo, property belonging to the municipality of Valverdón, Salamanca .

Currently, many elements of traditional agriculture are being lost, so various organisms work to conserve or recover them. Among them we highlight an international and interdisciplinary project called EARTH (Early Agriculture Remnants and Technical Heritage; in which they participate [[Bulgaria, Canada , Scotland , Spain , United States , France and Russia , in alphabetical order). The research focuses on broad archaeological, documentary, and ethnological aspects, on various elements, including threshing, in various countries, historical periods, and societies.

Other threshers

The trail threshing, which is the most common, and which is characterized, as its name suggests, by being dragged over the harvest, which shells with its sharp pieces, well lithic, well metallic. It is what the Hebrews call mogag and the Palestinians mawriy and the Maghrebi Yarusha. To be strict, the trail tracks of the Near East present, at least at present, differences that allow them to be easily distinguished from the western ones: The cutting flakes placed at the bottom are, on the Iberian peninsula, edged and with the edge (more or less) parallel to the threshing direction. On the other hand, the eastern mogag or mawriy have, in the belly of the threshing, different holes and stones; sometimes they are circular (made with a particularly wide and shallow berbiquí) in which small sub-circular or globular blocks are embedded, with sharp edges, not necessarily longitudinal. Other times they are blocks of a considerable size placed transversely, also with very sharp edges.

The threshers have the belly of blades, rather iron saws, generally fastened between the slats, all along the threshing; plus some smaller saws, embedded here and there. It is rare that these trail threshers with metal blades do not also have wheels of four to six, depending on the size, with the eccentric axis. These, in addition to protecting the blades, make the threshing oscillate, which rises in some places and is lowered in others randomly; thus increasing its performance.

A second model, the one that the classical sources baptized as Plostellum punicum that we would translate as a Carthaginian cart, is usually called a roller threshing machine. Although, certainly, it corresponds to the Carthaginians, heirs of the Phoenicians, its diffusion through the western Mediterranean, this instrument was already known, at least. From the second millennium, appearing in Babylonian texts with a name that we could transliterate as gīš-bad. Both variants have continued to be used until a few decades ago in Europe , and are still used in Islamic countries, in areas where agriculture has not been mechanized. In SpainPieces are preserved, which have passed into the hands of museums and collectors, of this type of cart or plostellum púnicum, which was highly appreciated, for example, in the province of Zamora , for threshing chickpeas.

 

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