In the last twenty years historians and social scientists have seen a veritable explosion of research into food and its consumption and social context. And yet archaeology has been slow to catch on. This is all the more surprising since the bread and butter of archaeology are the residues of food preparation and consumption - animal bones, pottery and other containers, cooking places and other technologies of preparation, plant remains (micro and macro), landscapes and settlements, grave goods, etc., etc. This volume of papers arises out of a conference held in Sheffield in 1999, organised jointly by The Prehistoric Society and the Sheffield University Archaeology Society, on Food, Identity and Culture in the Neolithic and Early Bronze Age. The aim was to bring together the different archaeological interests - from archaeological science and humanities perspectives - in food as cultural artefact/ecofact, to examine the potential of the new and developing scientific techniques for reconstructing prehistoric food habits, and to foster an integrated approach to the archaeology of food regardless of different researchers specialisms. The 12 papers in this volume include: (1) Food, culture and identity: an introduction and overview; (2) Explaining the dietary isotope evidence for the rapid adoption of the Neolithic in Britain; (3) In the kinship of cows: the social centrality of cattle in the earlier Neolithic of southern Britain; (4) Animals into ancestors: domestication, food and identity in Late Neolithic Orkney; (5) Early Neolithic diets: evidence from pathology and dental wear; (6) The use of dental microwear to infer diet and subsistence patterns in past human populations; (7) You are where you ate: isotopic analysis in the reconstruction of prehistoric residency; (8) Diet and culture in southern Britain: the evidence from Yarnton; (9) Dairying, dairy products and milk residues: potential studies in European prehistory; (10) Neolithic and Early Bronze Age food from northern Greece: the archaeobotanical evidence; (11) Changing paradigms: food as a metaphor for cultural identity among prehistoric fisher-gatherer-hunter communities of northern Europe; (12) Mead, chiefs and feasts in later prehistoric Europe.
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