Meeting on food in antiquity

Today, I popped into part of a very interesting meeting, organized jointly by the IAA and the HU, which dealt with food in antiquity, which was held at the Mt. Scopus campus of HU. While I missed the morning sessions, I did hear 4 very interesting talks:

Guy Stiebel talked about the archaeological and epigraphic evidence for food in the Roman Army, particulary, but not only based on the finds from Israel.

Shira Gur-Arieh (from the Safi project) talked about her “micro-enthnoarchaeological” study of cooking/baking installations in Uzbekistan, and how it can help identify and classify such installations in the archaeological record.

Zvi Lederman of the Beth Shemesh project spoke about the food habits at Beth Shemesh in the early Iron Age and how they are distinct and different from that of the neighboring Philistines.

Eitan Klein (IAA) spoke about changes in food preparation as a result of population changes as seen at a small site that he excavated in the Judean Shephelah (just to the north of Bet Guvrin) dating to the early Roman (2nd temple) and mid-Roman period (late 2nd/early 3rd cent. CE). This is apparently evidence of the population change that occurred at this site between the two periods – from a Jewish population to apparently, a population of former Roman army soldiers.


Very interesting indeed!