Ceramics, Cuisine and Culture: The archaeology and science of kitchen pottery in the ancient mediterranean world [Hardback]

Michela Spataro (Editor); Alexandra Villing (Editor)

ISBN: 9781782979470 | Published by: Oxbow Books | Year of Publication: 2015 | Language: English 304p, H279 x W215 (mm) b/w

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Ceramics, Cuisine and Culture


The 23 papers presented here are the product of the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and approaches to the study of kitchen pottery between archaeologists, material scientists, historians and ethnoarchaeologists. They aim to set a vital but long-neglected category of evidence in its wider social, political and economic contexts. Structured around main themes concerning technical aspects of pottery production; cooking as socio-economic practice; and changing tastes, culinary identities and cross-cultural encounters, a range of social economic and technological models are discussed on the basis of insights gained from the study of kitchen pottery production, use and evolution. Much discussion and work in the last decade has focussed on technical and social aspects of coarse ware and in particular kitchen ware. The chapters in this volume contribute to this debate, moving kitchen pottery beyond the Binfordian ‘technomic’ category and embracing a wider view, linking processualism, ceramic-ecology, behavioural schools, and ethnoarchaeology to research on historical developments and cultural transformations covering a broad geographical area of the Mediterranean region and spanning a long chronological sequence.

Table of Contents

List of contributors
1 Investigating ceramics, cuisine and culture past, present and future
Alexandra Villing and Michela Spataro
Part I. How to make a perfect cooking pot: technical choices between tradition and innovation
2 Materials choices in utilitarian pottery: kitchen wares in the Berbati valley, Greece
Ian Whitbread
3 Home-made recipes: tradition and innovation in Bronze Age cooking pots from Akrotiri, Thera
Noémi S. Müller, Vassilis Kilikoglou and Peter M. Day
4 Heating efficiency of archaeological cooking vessels: computer models and simulations of heat transfer
Anno Hein, Noémi S. Müller and Vassilis Kilikoglou
5 A contextual ethnography of cooking vessel production at Pòrtol, Mallorca (Balearic islands)
Peter M. Day, Miguel A. Cau Ontiveros, Catalina Mas-Florit and Noémi S. Müller
6 Aegina: an important centre of production of cooking pottery from the prehistoric to the historic era
Walter Gauss, Gudrun Klebinder-Gauss, Evangelia Kiriatzi, Areti Pentedeka and Myrto Georgakopoulou
7 True grit: production and exchange of cooking wares in the 9th-century BC Aegean
James Whitley and Marie-Claude Boileau
8 Cooking wares between the Hellenistic and Roman world: artifact variability, technological choice and practice
Kristina Winther-Jacobsen
Part 2. Lifting the lid on ancient cuisine: understanding cooking as socio-economic practice
9 From cooking pots to cuisine. Limitations and perspectives of a ceramic-based approach
Bartłomiej Lis
10 Cooking up new perspectives for Late Minoan IB domestic activities: an experimental approach to understanding the possibilities and the probabilities of using ancient cooking pots
Jerolyn E. Morrison, Chrysa Sofianou, Thomas M. Brogan, Jad Alyounis and Dimitra Mylona
11 Reading the Residues: The Use of Chromatographic and Mass Spectromic Techniques for Reconstructing the Role of Kitchen and other Domestic Vessels in Roman Antiquity
Lucy J. E. Cramp and Richard P. Evershed
12 Cooking pots in ancient and Late Antique cookbooks
Andrew James Donnelly
13 Unchanging tastes: first steps towards the correlation of the evidence for food preparation and consumption in ancient Laconia
Elizabeth Langridge-Noti
14 Fuel, cuisine and food preparation in Etruria and Latium: cooking stands as evidence for change
Laura M. Banducci
15 Vivaria in doliis: a cultural and social marker of Romanised society?
Laure G. Meulemans
Part 3. New pots, new recipes? Changing tastes, culinary identities and cross-cultural encounters
16 The Athenian kitchen from the Early Iron Age to the Hellenistic period
Susan I. Rotroff
17 Mediterranean-type cooking ware in indigenous contexts during the Iron Age in southern Gaul (6th3rd centuries BC)
Anne-Marie Curé
18 Forms of adoption, adaptation and resistance in the cooking ware repertoire of Lucania, South Italy (8th3rd centuries BC)
Alessandro Quercia
19 Pots and bones: cuisine in Roman Tuscany the example of Il Monte
Günther Schörner
20 Culinary clash in northwestern Iberia at the height of the Roman Empire: the Castro do Vieito case study
António JoséMarques da Silva
21 Coarse kitchen and household pottery as an indicator for Egyptian presence in the southern Levant: a diachronic perspective
Alexander Fantalkin
22 Kitchen pottery from Iron Age Cyprus: diachronic and social perspectives
Sabine Fourrier
Postscript: Looking beyond antiquity
23 Aegean cooking pots in the modern era (17001950)
Yorgos Kyriakopoulos

Reviews & Quotes

"…a masterly interdisciplinary research volume with the participation of forty scholars, and the editors deserve our honest admiration and gratitude… this volume presents the reader with a chock-full of varied archaeological data, discussions, interpretations and questions relating to ancient cookware and culinary practices. Well-illustrated with colour photos, drawings, diagrams, thin-sections and maps it is a true treasure-trove and an invaluable research tool for every ceramist and anthropologist and in particular a trend-setting stimulation for young scholars."
Renate Rosenthal-Heginbottom
Journal of Hellenistic Pottery and Material Culture (09/03/2018)

"…this volume is essential for everyone interested in the field, both as a reference work offering many exemplary cases, and as a source of inspiration, offering data and hypotheses which could be further researched, but also a starting point for new ideas and approaches. It also offers a very strong case for the strength of holistic approaches, not only in single case studies, but also in their combination. "
Vladimir Stissi
Bryn Mawr Classical Review (16/08/2017)

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