added by archaeologs A one- or two-handled small and flat ground stone tool used with a metate (quern) for grinding vegetable material such as maize, seeds, nuts, pigments, etc. Manos date dates to the Archaic Indian period, the word coming from Spanish mano de piedra, "hand stone" - referring to the upper stone which is usually cylindrical or ovoid in shape. The underlying smooth stone slab is the metate. It is a hallmark artifact defining the economic or subsistence base of prehistoric societies. Its forms vary considerably from a barely modified cobble to a long cylinder similar to a rolling pin.