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The Nose, the Eye, the Mouth and the Gut: Social Dimensions of Food-Cravings and Commensality
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.
2010 (English)In: Making Sense of Things: Archaeologies of Sensory Perception / [ed] Fredrik Fahlander & Anna Kjellström, Stockholm: Univ. , 2010, 200, 35-50 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In archaeology, the discussion concerning food and ingestion has primarily focused on diet, i.e., what people have eaten. Large quantities of deposited animal bones have been analysed over the years and complex scientific analyses of human bones have been carried out in order to establish nutrition and subsistence via 13C and other isotope analyses. It is a little puzzling why so much effort has been invested in establishing variation in prehistoric diets and so little interest in elaborating on the social dimensions of commensality. The daily dinner is not just a matter of consuming nourishment; it involves planning and gathering ingredients, and thinking about ways of cooking them and how to combine them. Eating and drinking require a number of key social elements such as materiality, spatial arrangement and place, bodily experiences, mental expectations,and bonding/exclusion.There is a considerable social dimen- sion in food that goes far beyond pure biological needs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Univ. , 2010, 200. 35-50 p.
Stockholm Studies in Archaeology, ISSN 0349-4128 ; 53
Keyword [en]
food, food ways, commensality
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-43948ISBN: 978-91-978257-2-6OAI: diva2:360041
Available from: 2010-11-11 Created: 2010-11-01 Last updated: 2011-02-10Bibliographically approved

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