Archaeology of Food: An Encyclopedia
Mary C. Beaudry
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
What are the origins of agriculture? In what ways have technological advances related to food affected human development? How have food and foodways been used to create identity, communicate meaning, and organize society? In this highly readable, illustrated volume, archaeologists and other scholars from across the globe explore these questions and more.
The Archaeology of Food offers more than 250 entries spanning geographic and temporal contexts and features recent discoveries alongside the results of decades of research. The contributors provide overviews of current knowledge and theoretical perspectives, raise key questions, and delve into myriad scientific, archaeological, and material analyses to add depth to our understanding of food. The encyclopedia serves as a reference for scholars and students in archaeology, food studies, and related disciplines, as well as fascinating reading for culinary historians, food writers, and food and archaeology enthusiasts.
period.) Diets heavily reliant on large game and selected plant resources, notably fruit, would have to be modified in the direction of less desirable but faster-reproducing and, therefore, more stable species. Next, a human population would consume smaller animals and second-choice plants, generally less desired or more difficult to obtain. But efficiency would decline because the smaller organisms would require both search and preparation to be repeated many times in small packages to obtain
actually did it) would add to the risk of crop blight from species-specific microbes. What is striking about prehistoric subsistence patterns in many, even most, parts of the world is that they roughly mimic the predictions of HBE theory. The evolution of prehistoric, preagricultural Mesolithic or Archaic economies among hunter-gatherers commonly involves a gradual decline in the appearance of high-ranking, relatively large animals and the gradual increase of broad-spectrum or inefficient, large
remains of gardens and milpa (raised-bed fields) adjacent to the residential buildings, but the array of ceramic vessels, ground stone, chipped stone tools and debitage, plant remains, and other artifacts helped the archaeologists identify rooms where agricultural products such as maize and agave were processed, stored, and cooked. Most house contexts are not as well preserved as those at Cerén, but archaeologists employ a suite of geomorphological and archaeobotanical analyses to identify crop
of the type of food produced and consumed by a community assembled for the purpose of large-scale construction projects. At this unique site, hieroglyphs on a nearby tomb illustrate methods used for grinding grain and producing bread and beer. Statues show women grinding grain on a stone in a home. This could indicate that bread was baked both commercially and within the home; alternately, it also could suggest that dough was sometimes prepared by individuals and perhaps baked in a community
sought to restrict the drinking of mill workers. A program of corporate paternalism was meant to produce a structured, diligent workforce and reduce the likelihood of labor unrest. The presence of alcohol bottles in the archaeological record from boardinghouses at the Boott Cotton Mills indicates that attempts to curb drinking were not entirely successful and 15_112-Metheny_V1.indb 140 6/30/15 2:43 PM D N A A N A LY S I S 141 shows that workers clandestinely took control of their leisure