1st Edition

Culinary Technology of the Ancient Near East From the Neolithic to the Early Roman Period

By Jill L. Baker Copyright 2025
    304 Pages 93 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    304 Pages 93 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Culinary Technology of the Ancient Near East discusses the technical aspects of meal preparation, cooking, and baking in the ancient Near East, exploring a wide range of topics including kitchens, cooking equipment, cooking and baking vessels, and serving and eating utensils.

    Chapters explore and describe the culinary technologies and techniques employed by the peoples of the ancient Near East from the Neolithic to the Early Roman period, considering their unique and pioneering contributions to the development and evolution of gastronomic devices and apparatus and highlighting some of the foods prepared by them, recognising their application and influence in contemporary cooking and baking. Baker brings together in a single volume what is known about the culinary technology of the ancient Near East based on the archaeological, textual, historic, and scientific data drawn from a wide range of studies, and discusses this data in terms of its cultural, historic, and socio-economic context. She emphasizes these technologies as the foundation upon which modern culinary technology is based and applies relevant ancient techniques to modern systems. Overall, the volume acknowledges the ingenuity of the ancient mind in order to understand their culinary technology, which in turn helps us to better understand our own and apply these, and new, ideas to the present and future.

    This is a fascinating study suitable for students and scholars working on food and households in the ancient Near East, as well as those working on the history of food, cooking and dining, and the history of technology more broadly.

    1. Introduction; 2. The Secret Life of Food; 3. The Ancient Kitchen – Near Eastern Style; 4. Hearths; 5. Stoves, Cooking Ranges, Portable Grills, Braziers; 6. Ovens; 7. Andirons; 8. Fuel for the Fire; 9. The Daily Grind: Grinding and Milling; 10. Cookware, Bakeware, Utensils, Diningware, and Serviceware; 11. Refrigeration; 12. Bread and Beer; 13. Cooks, Recipes, and Cookbooks; 14. Washing Up; 15. Summary and Discussion.

    Biography

    Jill L. Baker is an Independent Researcher in Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and has taught as a Faculty Fellow (adjunct) in the Honors College at Florida International University and in the Religious Studies Department (adjunct) at the University of Miami, USA. She is the author of The Funeral Kit: Mortuary Practices in the Archaeological Record, Technology of the Ancient Near East: From the Neolithic to the Early Roman Period, and co-author of The Greensboro Blockhouse Project: An Historical and Archaeological Investigation in Greensboro, Vermont.