Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Social Archaeology of Food
Thinking about Eating from Prehistory to the Present

$37.99 (C)

Award Winner
  • Date Published: February 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316607251

$ 37.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This book offers a global perspective on the role food has played in shaping human societies, through both individual and collective identities. It integrates ethnographic and archaeological case studies from the European and Near Eastern Neolithic, Han China, ancient Cahokia, Classic Maya, the Inka and many other periods and regions, to ask how the meal in particular has acted as a social agent in the formation of society, economy, culture and identity. Drawing on a range of social theorists, Hastorf provides a theoretical toolkit essential for any archaeologist interested in foodways. Studying the social life of food, this book engages with taste, practice, the meal and the body to discuss power, identity, gender and meaning that creates our world as it created past societies.

    • Uses food as an entry into studies of the past - the interest in the archaeology of food is a rapidly expanding focus in all disciplines and in the public eye, and this book solidly addresses this topic
    • Provides a theoretical exposition of past and present social life using food as the key
    • Includes rich examples from the ethnographic and archaeological record, introducing the reader to essential bodies of social theory through food
    Read more


    • Winner, 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316607251
    • length: 418 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 155 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.62kg
    • contains: 26 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the social life of food
    Part I. Laying the Groundwork:
    2. Framing food investigation
    3. The practices of a meal in society
    Part II. Current Food Studies in Archaeology:
    4. The archaeological study of food activities
    5. Food economics
    6. Food politics: power and status
    Part III. Food and Identity: The Potentials of Food Archaeology:
    7. Food in the construction of group identity
    8. The creation of personal identity: food, body and personhood
    9. Food creates society.

  • Author

    Christine A. Hastorf, University of California, Berkeley
    Christine A. Hastorf is known for her contributions to palaeoethnobotany, agriculture, meaning and the everyday, food studies, political economy, and ritual in middle-range societies of the Andean region of South America. She has written and edited many articles and books, and has completed fieldwork in Mexico, California, New Mexico, Italy, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Turkey and England. She oversees an archaeobotanical laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley and directs an archaeological project in Bolivia. At the 2012 Society for American Archaeology meetings, she was awarded the Fryxell Award for Excellence in the Botanical Sciences in Archaeology.


    • Winner, 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Related Books

also by this author

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.