From remote antiquity to contemporary contexts, food and the ‘stuff’ of food remains central to people’s daily experiences as well as their sense and expression of identity. This volume explores the materiality of foodstuffs past and present, examining humanity’s intriguingly complex relationships with, and experiences of, food. The book also makes a fresh contribution to our understanding of materiality through a novel focus on material culture, analysing objects used to prepare, wrap, serve and consume food and the tactile experiences involved in its production and consumption. Considering a wide range of cultures, spanning from ancient China to modern-day Kenya, this broad collection of interdisciplinary chapters reveal the multiple interplays between foods, bodies, material worlds, rituals and embodied knowledge that emerge from these encounters and which, in turn, shape the material culture of food. Exploring the Materiality of Food 'Stuffs' makes an important contribution to this burgeoning field and will be of interest to archaeologists and anthropologists working in the key area of food research.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: exploring the materiality of food ‘stuffs’: transformations, embodiment and ritualized consumption
LOUISE STEEL AND KATHARINA ZINN
PART ONE: TRANSFORMATIONS
2. From raw resources to food processing: archaeobotanical and ethnographic insights from New Kingdom Amara West and present-day Ernetta Island in Northern Sudan
3. The domestication of innovation: advertizing strategies for canned foods in the Netherlands, 1945-1985
4. Our ‘daily bread’: the origins of grinding grain and breadmaking
BRIAN HAYDEN, LAURIE NIXON-DARCUS AND LOGAN ANSELL
5. Bodies of water: exploring water flows in rural Kenya
PART TWO: EMBODIED ENCOUNTERS
6. Embodied spirituality and self-divinization: A re-reading of the Legend of Princess Miaoshan
7. Permaculture: discovering nature, designing ecologies
8. The logistics of bread production in Old Kingdom Egypt: A nutritional perspective
9. ‘Everyday’ foodways and social connections in Pompeian houses
PART THREE: SYMBOLIC CONSUMPTION
10. Sumptuous feasting in the ancient Near East: exploring the materiality of the Royal Tombs of Ur
11. Lacklustre offering plates? Symbolic food consumption, ritual, and representations in ancient Egyptian funerary culture
12. The materiality of ecstatic ritual: altered states of consciousness and ritual in Late Bronze Age Cyprus
13. Ritual and daily life in the Chinese Bronze Age: foodstuffs and bodies in depositional context at Yanshi Shangcheng
14. The ambiguous (but important) materiality of food.
Louise Steel is Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.
Katharina Zinn is Senior Lecturer for Egyptian Archaeology and Heritage at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David.