Inside Ancient Kitchens: New Directions in the Study of Daily Meals and Feasts
The anthropology of food is an area of research in which economic, social, and political dynamics interact in incredibly complex ways. Using archaeological case studies from around the globe, “Inside Ancient Kitchens” presents new perspectives on the comparative study of prehistoric meals from Peru to the Philippines. “Inside Ancient Kitchens” builds upon the last decade of feasting studies and presents two unique goals for broadening the understanding of prehistoric meals. First, the volume focuses on the study of meal preparation through the analysis of temporary and permanent kitchen areas. This move to focus ‘behind the scenes’ is aimed at determining how, where, and by whom meals were financed and prepared. Secondly, data from these preparation contexts are used to differentiate between household-level and suprahousehold-level meals in each case study, resulting in more nuanced typologies of daily meals, feasts, and other food-related events. “Inside Ancient Kitchens” presents an important step in the development of new methodological and theoretical approaches within the anthropology of food and will be of great interest to scholars studying the social dynamics, labour organisation, and political relationships underlying prehistoric meals.