Session: #184

Theme & Session Format

1. The Material Record: Current Trends and Future Directions
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Archaeology of Foodways: Towards a Cross-Cultural Comparative Perspective
Food serves as a fundamental link that unites people from diverse cultures and regions. Recent archaeological research on ancient foodways has undergone a remarkable expansion in both theoretical frameworks and methodological innovations. Departing from the traditional emphasis on “diet” and “subsistence,” which primarily focuses on how ancient communities sourced and produced the essential sustenance for their cultural survival, recent research explores broader themes like “foodways” and “cuisine.” This approach investigates how food-related practices intersect with social phenomena, including status, gender, religion, and cultural contact. The shift in theoretical perspective is supported by innovative scientific methods, particularly in fields of archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, and biomolecular archaeology.
This session provides a platform for disseminating recent methodological and theoretical innovations in the study of food and culinary practices in ancient societies. It aims to bring together archaeologists from diverse geographic regions to present case studies that hold comparative values for other specialists to incorporate into their own research projects. We especially welcome contributions that engage in cross-cultural comparisons of past foodways. Potential themes include, but not limited to, the domestication of plants and animals, the spread and adoption of food technologies, the role of food in both daily routines and ritual contexts, and the relationship between foodways and social organizations.
Foodways, Cuisines, Archaeometry, Cross-cultural Comparison, Subsistence strategy
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Main organiser:
Jiajing Wang (United States) 1
Óscar Parque (Spain) 2
Martina di Matteo (Italy) 3
Weiya Li (Spain) 4,5,6
Carolina Jiménez-Arteaga (Spain) 2
1. Dartmouth College
2. CASEs (Culture, Archaeology and Socio-Ecological Dynamics). Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona
3. Sapienza University of Rome
4. Institut Català de Paleoecologia Humana i Evolució Social (IPHES-CERCA)
5. Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Departament d’Història i Història de l’Art
6. University of Science and Technology of China