There is little evidence for the use of sieves either in the Bible or from Ancient Near Eastern archaeology.
There are only 2-3 biblical references to sieves: Is 30:28; Am 9:9; Sir 27:4. From these little can be gained except that it seems more likely that sieves were possibly used to retain the "refuse" (Sir 27:4).
Woven sieves were used. Objects, from the period of the Israelite monarchy, found in a cellar at Kuntillet `Ajrud include "a large woven sieve" as well as fruit and building supplies (Zeev Meshel "Kuntillet `Ajrud" in ABD).
A reference in the Canaanite texts from Ras Shamra indicates the use of sieves for "winnowing". Anath seized divine Mot, with a blade she split him, with a sieve she winnowed him, with fire she burnt him... (KTU 1.6.II.30-35 = CTA 6.II.30-35)
This page is part of the Hypertext Bible Commentary - Amos,
© Tim Bulkeley, 1996-2005, Tim Bulkeley. All rights reserved.