Well, long before the food processor and grinder ever came along - and that was eons later, next to the knife, THIS tool did all of the mashing and pulverizing of most soft and semi-soft foods, garlic, onions, herbs and spices.
Looks like it was used during ancient Biblical times.
Today, people STILL like to use it just to get the feel of using their hands to grind or mash food with this tool. I was told that it makes great pesto sauce for pasta.
For those of you who might not know what this tool looks like, go to http:// CHEFS - Search Results
and view the tool which appears in the extrem left of the blocks on the page.