CLAS/HIST140 The Archaeology of Food and Feasting

his course offers an introduction to food and feasting, as expressed in the art, archaeology and texts of civilizations from across the globe. Feasting is related to the control of food production, and often is seen as a medium for social interaction, serving as way to promote commonality within a community through the sharing of food (think Thanksgiving!). For archaeologists, feasting is the rare ritual activity that can be reliably identified in the archaeological record. Topics covered may include the goals of feasting, architecture, ritual requirements, opulence, the gaining of allies, frightening enemies, negotiating war and peace, celebrating rites of passage, and communicating with the gods. Possible areas of focus will be Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and the Mediterranean.