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Past food for thought: The potential of archaeology

Stockhammer, Philipp W.

In: Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies, 16 (2016), Nr. 3. pp. 91-101

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Until recently, archaeologists have routinely connected a particular object with a certain function and meaning —especially with regard to eating and drinking practices—and have underestimated the transformative power of intercultural encounters. In my article, I explore the dynamic relationship between food “stuffs” and the objects and practices connected with their consumption. Adopting a transcultural perspective, I want to focus on the changeability of the relation between food “stuffs,” objects, and practices and individual objects’ biographies of usage. I will illustrate my methodological approach with case studies from the late second millennium BCE Eastern Mediterranean where objects for food consumption were widely distributed—and have thus far been interpreted as evidence for the spread of certain practices of consumption over the whole region. By analyzing regional processes of appropriation of these objects I will shed light on the astonishing transformations of their functions and meanings.

Document type: Article
Version: Secondary publication
Date Deposited: 28 Feb 2018 08:28
Faculties / Institutes: Research Project, Working Group > Individuals
DDC-classification: Alte Geschichte, Vor- und Frühgeschichte, Archäologie
Subject (Propylaeum): Prehistoric Archaeology
Controlled Keywords: Archäologie, Gebrauchsgegenstand, Funde, Lebensmittelabfall, Bronzezeit
Uncontrolled Keywords: archaeology ; Bronze Age ; object itineraries ; appropriation ; organic residue analysis
Subject (classification): History of the ancient world to ca. 499
Countries/Regions: Other parts of ancient world (Antiquity)