Session: #497

Theme & Session Format

4. Persisting with Change: Theory and Archaeological Scrutiny
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

Food Storage and Security in Prehistoric Europe
Food storage is likely to have played an important role in managing risk, dealing with surplus and providing security for prehistoric communities in Europe. Potential food storage facilities have been recorded at many sites, including large underground pits, overground granaries and structures, smaller vessels such as ceramic and wooden containers, and discrete deposits in peat bogs. Characterising the practices associated with these structures and objects can be challenging, however. Do food storage facilities always reflect a materialisation of surplus? Who was allowed to access stored resources (and who was not), and what types of dishes were created with stored foods? Can food storage enable resilience through adaptive behaviour in the face of environmental and social transformations, and what can storage tell us about ancient concepts of food security? Much archaeological discussion of food storage practices has focused on later prehistory, but is there also evidence for storage facilities in earlier periods? Are there parallels in more recent ethnographic and folklife records that can help us detect ‘forgotten’ storage practices? It is becoming increasingly clear that consideration of wider social, economic and environmental contexts can help us better characterise storage practices, and it is hoped that this session will highlight the many different ways in which scholars can approach the study of food storage and security. We welcome papers investigating food storage in prehistoric Europe, particularly those that draw upon evidence from archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, landscape and settlement studies, ethnography and related fields.
food, storage, prehistory, archaeobotany, zooarchaeology
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Main organiser:
Meriel McClatchie (Ireland) 1
Kerri Cleary (Ireland) 2
Penny Johnston (Ireland) 1
Erin Crowley-Champoux (United States) 1
Georgina Prats (Spain) 3
1. University College Dublin
2. Archaeological Consultancy Services Unit
3. Universitat de Lleida