Museum of Fine Arts, Boston: H. L. Pierce Fund

A sixth century B.C. Greek urn (called a skyphos), only six inches in diameter, shows two men working an oil press. The system they use is simple: pierced boulders have been roped to the beam; then one worker jumps on for added weight. To the right is olive pulp in a heap of sacks (aqal) which are being pressed. The oil and water mixture pressed from the pulp pours into a large vessel underneath.