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The Commensal Politics of Early States and Empires

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Abstract

Food and feasting are increasingly recognized as having played a prominent role in the emergence of social hierarchies and the negotiation of power and identity (Clark and Blake 1994; Dietler 1996; Dietler and Hayden 2001; Gero 1992; Goody 1982; Gummerman 1997; Nielsen and Nielsen 1998; Wiessner and Shieffenhovel 1996). The notion of ‘feasting,’ as used here, refers to a communal food consumption event that differs in some way from everyday practice (after Dietler 1996). Given the culinary nature of feasts, the use of containers for both food preparation and consumption is generally involved, a fact that increases the archaeological visibility of such events. The papers in this volume utilize culinary equipment as a window into the commensal politics of early states and empires, focusing on the question of whether and how food and feasting figured in the political calculus of archaic states. Using both New and Old World examples, the assembled papers offer particular case studies that serve as the basis for a comparative assessment of the role of feasting in the emergence and expansion of early states.

Keywords

  • Early State
  • Historical Archaeology
  • Ancient Society
  • Ceramic Assemblage
  • Archaeological Ceramic

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Bray, T.L. (2003). The Commensal Politics of Early States and Empires. In: Bray, T.L. (eds) The Archaeology and Politics of Food and Feasting in Early States and Empires. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-306-48246-5_1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-306-48246-5_1

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

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