One of the things we deal with regularly in our studies at Tell es-Safi/Gath are the types of food that were consumed in various periods (what they ate, who they prepared it, etc.), and the differences seen between different cultures and periods (such as changes in diet with the arrival of the Philistines).
Our analyses include analysis of food remains, butchery practice, cooking vessels, cooking installations, etc. There is a lot of information in the archaeological record relating to food – as it is today, food was more than just something to get the needed calories – it was a central, and very defining aspect of every culture.
Below, for example, you can see the excavation of a Philistine “pebble hearth” in progress. This is a type of cooking/heating installation that appears in Philistia at the beginning of the Iron Age, with the arrival of the Philistines, and continues to be used for several centuries before disappearing. Parallels to this type of installation can be found in some regions of the Aegean, and in Cyprus during this period. The hearth has been “sliced” in half, to examine the various parts and its relationship to other stratigraphic elements:
Now if you want to get a feeling of what it was like to eat in antiquity, <a href="“>check out this interesting link, which discusses how to make a meal as it would have been in Roman times. While this is not exactly the same as what would have been eaten and cooked at Canaanite, Philistine, or Judahite Gath, it does give a nice idea about many of the practices, and the types of foods. Keep in mind that many foods that we consider a central part of our “menu” today – were not available in the ancient near east (such as potatoes, tomatoes and corn).
Perhaps, this coming Pesach (Passover) or Easter, why don’t you make a Roman meal for you and your friends/family?