Cooking and Cuisine: Culinary Clues and Contexts in the Archaeological Record

Author(s): Susan Kooiman

Year: 2017


Identifying specific foods exploited and consumed by people from past societies is important, but decisions concerning nutrition and social identity can only be fully understood through the study of food preparation techniques and recipe development and traditions. Cooking and cuisine embody the intersection of the biological and the cultural. Their centrality in both everyday and ritual life makes them ideal thoroughfares into the exploration of adaptive, social, political, and ideological tenets and behaviors of past societies. For this reason, ancient cooking techniques and the social and cultural aspects of food choice have become topics of increasing interest. There are multiple evidences through which to access past diet and cooking, including macrobotanical and faunal remains, food processing technologies, chemical and microscopic food residues found on cooking technologies, experimental replication and ethnographic analogy. Each method yields unique and complementary data about past diet and food processing. This diversity holds the potential for collaborative efforts across multiple independent methods resulting in more complete social and cultural interpretations of past cooking habits and food selection.

Cite this Record

Cooking and Cuisine: Culinary Clues and Contexts in the Archaeological Record. Susan Kooiman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429548)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14568