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The Archaeology of Food
Identity, Politics, and Ideology in the Prehistoric and Historic Past

$30.99 (P)

  • Date Published: January 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108464062

$ 30.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • The Archaeology of Food explains how archaeologists reconstruct what people ate, and how such reconstructions reveal ancient political struggles, religious practices, ethnic identities, gender norms, and more. Balancing deep research with accessible writing, Katheryn Twiss familiarizes readers with archaeological data, methods, and intellectual approaches as they explore topics ranging from urban commerce to military provisioning to ritual feasting. Along the way, Twiss examines a range of primary evidence, including Roman bars, Aztec statues, Philistine pig remains, Nubian cooking pots, Mississippian squash seeds, and the bones of a medieval king. Her book introduces both archaeologists and non-archaeologists to the study of prehistoric and historic foodways, and illuminates how those foodways shaped and were shaped by past cultures.

    • Surveys the field of food archaeology, explaining core topics and interesting research areas
    • Provides an up-to-date overview of the archaeological methods used to study food in the past
    • Includes examples and ideas from a wide range of areas and time periods
    • Engages readers interested in public service, sustainability, health, and other topics of global concern
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘Engaging examples drawn from published research are provided throughout, supported by an extensive, up-to-date bibliography. Even though this text is written in a style that seems intended primarily for students, faculty and other researches are likely to find it useful as well.’ W. Kotter, Choice

    ‘The Archaeology of Food takes a global perspective on the centrality of food. In this short but exceptionally well-written volume, Twiss shows how food can be used to understand economic systems, social inequality, politics, religion, identity, and human–environment relationships in the past and present.’ Matthew E. Hill Jr, American Anthropologist

    ‘With its wide variety of case studies and outstanding bibliography, The Archaeology of Food should be on the bookshelves of researchers working on issues of cuisine, foodways, and zooarchaeology. Its modest length and exceptionally clear writing also make this volume a must-read in various undergraduate and graduate seminars. With her often witty prose, and a commitment to make even the most arcane academic debate understandable to beginning students, Twiss has produced an engaging book that will help both the student and professional alike better understand how archaeologists study food.’ Matthew E. Hill, Jr, American Anthropologist

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108464062
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 15 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. What is food, and why do archaeologists study it?
    2. How do archaeologists study food? Data sets and methods
    3. Food and economics
    4. Food and inequality
    5. Food and politics
    6. Identity: food, affiliation, and distinction
    7. Food, ritual, and religion
    8. Archaeology, food, and the future.

  • Author

    Katheryn C. Twiss, State University of New York, Stony Brook
    Katheryn C. Twiss is an archaeologist who studies ancient foodways in order to learn about social structures in the prehistoric and early historic past. Her primary areas of expertise are southwest Asian prehistory, zooarchaeology, animal management and symbolism, and life in early farming communities. She co-headed the team studying animal remains at the well-known Neolithic site of Çatalhöyük in Turkey, and she is currently in charge of analyzing animal bones from the famed Mesopotamian site of Ur. She edited The Archaeology of Food And Identity (2007). She has published on topics ranging from feasting in early farming villages to Mesopotamian ceremonialism.

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