Materiality of Foodstuffs – publication by UWTSD staff
Staff from the Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts are involved in publishing the results of an interdisciplinary project funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation,which examined the materiality of foodstuffs. This project brought together an international team of scholars from diverse fields of Archaeology, Egyptology, Anthropology, Geography and Food Studies for two workshops in Lampeter (May 2014 and January 2015), the results of which have begun to appear in press. The focus was on the objects used to prepare, wrap, package and serve food as much as on the substances consumed.
In the most recent edition of the Food Studies journal Gastronomica (published by California University Press) Dr Louise Steel (Reading in Mediterranean Archaeology) explores daily household experiences with food and drink in Bronze Age Cyprus, how these household practices shaped people’s identities and how these intangibles are visible to the archaeologist in the form of pots and pans, querns and grinding stones. Much of Louise’s article, Kitchenalia in Bronze Age Cyprus, focuses on the rich material remains (pottery and groundstone tools) from her excavations at the Late Bronze Age settlement of Arediou.
In the forthcoming volume, Exploring the Materiality of Foodstuffs (Steel and Zinn eds., published by Routledge) Dr Katharina Zinn examines magical substitutes for food in ancient Egyptian funerary ritual. The focus of her chapter is a miniature clay offering plate from the Egyptian collection at Cyfarthfa Castle Museums and Art Gallery, Merthyr Tydfil. This vessel was a used by the ancient Egyptians to provision and sustain the dead during the afterlife, typically being placed outside the tomb in the cult chapel where it received “symbolic” offerings of food and drink.