A mortar and pestle is a device used since ancient times to prepare ingredients or substances by crushing and grinding them into a fine paste or powder. The mortar () is a bowl, typically made of hard wood, ceramic or stone. The pestle () is a heavy club-shaped object, the end of which is used for crushing and grinding. The substance to be ground is placed in the mortar and ground, crushed or mixed using the pestle. Mortars and pestles have been used in cooking up to the present day; they are frequently also associated with the profession of pharmacy due to their historical use in preparing medicines. They can also be used in masonry and in other types of construction.