Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory

, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 105–139

Food and complex societies

  • George GumermanIV

DOI: 10.1007/BF02428056

Cite this article as:
Gumerman, G. J Archaeol Method Theory (1997) 4: 105. doi:10.1007/BF02428056


In complex societies individuals from distinct social, economic, gender, or age groups often consume different foods because of various economic, political, and ideological factors. The food system not only involves what is consumed but includes the labor and technology that goes into the production and preparation of food as well as how certain foods are distributed and eventually discarded. Food systems within and among complex societies are thus tightly intertwined with social differentiation and the political economy and participate in defining and maintaining differential social relations.

Key Words

foodwayspaleodietconsumptionsocial relations

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • George GumermanIV
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyNorthern Arizona UniversityFlagstaff