Skip to main content

Feasts, Funerals, and Fast Food in Early Mesopotamian States

  • Chapter

Abstract

In an interview published in an Italian newspaper in November 2000, the Rev. Massimo Salani declared, “Fast food reflects the individualistic relation between man and God introduced by Luther…Lacking the community aspect of sharing, fast food is certainly not a Catholic model” (cited in the Washington Post, Nov. 18, 2000, p. B9). Billed by some as the excommunication of the hamburger, Salani’s remarks touched a raw nerve, provoking reactions that ranged from endorsement by some religious figures and those who oppose American-style fast food to indignation on the part of such international heavyweights as McDonalds.

Keywords

  • Fast Food
  • Ceramic Vessel
  • Funeral Ritual
  • Metal Vessel
  • Ceramic Container

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.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-0-306-48246-5_2
  • Chapter length: 22 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   84.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-0-306-48246-5
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   109.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   169.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  • Adams, Robert McCormick, 1974, The Mesopotamian Social Landscape: A View from the Frontier. In Reconstructing Complex Societies: An Archaeological Colloquium, edited by C.B. Moore, pp. 1–12. Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Supplement 20.

    Google Scholar 

  • Adams, Robert McCormick, 1981, Heartland of Cities. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

    Google Scholar 

  • Amiet, Pierre, 1980, La Glyptique Mesopotamienne Archaique. Éditions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris.

    Google Scholar 

  • Appadurai, Arjun, 1981, Gastro-politics in Hindu South Asia. American Ethnologist 8:494–511.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bauer, Josef, 1998, Der vorsargonische Abschnitt der mesopotamischen Geschichte. In Mesopotamien: Spaturuk-Zeit und frühdynastische Zeit (Josef Bauer, Robert Englund, and Manfred Krebernik), edited by Pascal Attinger and Markus Wäfler, pp. 431–585. Universitätsverlag, Freiburg (Schweiz).

    Google Scholar 

  • Beale, Thomas, 1978, Bevelled Rim Bowls and Their Implications for Change and Economic Organization in the Later 4th Millennium B.C. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 37:289–313.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bernbeck, Reinhard and Susan Pollock, 2002, Reflections on the Historiography of 4th Millennium Mesopotamia. To appear in Festschrift for Hans J. Nissen, edited by Arnulf Hausleiter, Susanne Kerner, and Bernd Müller-Neuhoff.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bordo, Susan, 1993, Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body. University of California Press, Berkeley.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bottéro, Jean, 1980, La Mythologie de la Mort en Mésopotamie Ancienne. In Death in Mesopotamia (XXXVI e Recontre Assyriologique Internationale), edited by Bendt Alster, pp. 25–52. Akademisk Forlag, Copenhagen.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bourdieu, Pierre, 1984, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Translated by Richard Nice. Harvard University Press, Cambridge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Brumfiel, Elizabeth, 1991, Weaving and Cooking: Women’s Production in Aztec Mexico. In Engendering Archaeology: Women and Prehistory, edited by Joan Gero and Margaret Conkey, pp. 224–251. Blackwell Press, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Charvát, Petr, 1997, On People, Signs and States: Spotlights on Sumerian Society, c. 3500–2500 B.C. The Oriental Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prague.

    Google Scholar 

  • Chazan, Michael and Mark Lehner, 1990, An Ancient Analogy: Pot Baked bread in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Paleorient 16(2):21–35.

    Google Scholar 

  • Counihan, Carole, 1998, Food and Gender: Identity and Power. In Food and Gender: Identity and Power, edited by Carole Counihan and Steven Kaplan, pp. 1–10. Harwood Press, Amsterdam.

    Google Scholar 

  • Counihan, Carole, 1999, The Anthropology of Food and Body: Gender, Meaning, and Power. Routledge, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Damerow, Peter, 1996, Food Production and Social Status as Documented in Proto-Cuneiform Texts. In Food and the Status Quest: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, edited by Polly Wiessner and Wulf Schiefenhövel, pp. 149–169. Berghahn, Providence.

    Google Scholar 

  • Delougaz, Pinhas, Harold Hill, and Seton Lloyd, 1967, Private Houses and Graves in the Diyala Region. Oriental Institute Publication 88. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

    Google Scholar 

  • Diakonoff, Igor, 1969, The Rise of the Despotic State in Ancient Mesopotamia. In Ancient Mesopotamia: Socio-economic History, edited by Igor Diakonoff, pp. 173–203. Nauka, Moscow.

    Google Scholar 

  • Dietler, Michael, 1996, Feasts and Commensal Politics in the Political Economy: Food, Power, and Status in Prehistoric Europe. In Food and the Status Quest: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, edited by Polly Wiessner and Wulf Schiefenhövel, pp. 87–125. Berghahn, Providence.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ellison, Rosemary, Jane Renfrew, Don Brothwell, and Nigel Seeley, 1978, Some Food Offerings from Ur, Excavated by Sir Leonard Woolley, and Previously Unpublished. Journal of Archaeological Science 5:167–177.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Englund, Robert, 1988, Administrative Timekeeping in Ancient Mesopotamia. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 31:121–185.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Englund, Robert, 1998, Texts from the Late Uruk Period. In Mesopotamien: Späturuk-Zeit und frühdynastische Zeit (Josef Bauer, Robert Englund, and Manfred Krebernik), edited by Pascal Attinger and Markus Wäfler, pp. 15–233. Universitätsverlag, Freiburg, Switzerland.

    Google Scholar 

  • Feeley-Harnik, Gillian, 1994, The Lord’s Table: The Meaning of Food in Early Judaism and Christianity. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. [1981].

    Google Scholar 

  • Forest, Jean-Daniel, 1983, Les Pratiques Funéraires en Mésopotamie du Cinquième Millénaire au Debut du Troisième: Etude de Cas. Éditions Recherche sur les Civilisations, Paris.

    Google Scholar 

  • Frangipane, Marcella, 1996, La Nascita dello Stato nel Vicino Oriente. Laterza, Rome.

    Google Scholar 

  • Frankfort, Henri, 1939, Sculpture of the Third Millennium B.C. from Tell Asmar and Khafajah. Oriental Institute Publication 44. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

    Google Scholar 

  • Frankfort, Henri, 1943, More Sculpture from the Diyala Region. Oriental Institute Publication 60. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gelb, Ignace, 1965, The Ancient Mesopotamian Ration System. Journal of Near Eastern Studies 24:230–243.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Gelb, Ignace, 1960, On the Alleged Temple and State Economies in Ancient Mesopotamia. Estratto da studi in onore di Edoardo Volterra 6: 137–154, Rome.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gelb, Ignace, 1972, From Freedom to Slavery. In Gesellschaftsklassen im Alten Zweistromland und in den Angrenzenden Gebieten, edited by Dietz Edzard, pp. 81–92. XVIII Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, München, 29. Juni bis 3. Juli 1970, Verlag der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, München.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gelb, Ignace, 1979, Household and Family in Early Mesopotamia. In State and Temple Economy in the Ancient Near East, edited by E. Lipínski, pp. 1–99. Departement Orientalistiek, Leuven.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gero, Joan, 1992, Feasts and Females: Gender Ideology and Political Meals in the Andes. Norwegian Archaeological Review 25:15–30.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Grégoire, Jean-Pierre and Johannes Renger, 1988, Die Interdependenz der wirtschaftlichen und gesellschaftlichen Strukturen von Ebla: Erwägungen zum System der Oikos-Wirtschaft in Ebla. In Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft in Ebla, edited by Harald Hauptmann and Hartmut Waetzoldt, pp. 211–224. Heidelberger Studium zum Alten Orient 2. Heidelberger Orientverlag, Heidelberg.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hansen, Donald, 1975, Frühsumerische und frühdynastische Flachbildkunst. In Der alte Orient, edited by Winfried Orthmann, pp. 179–193. Propyläen Verlag, Berlin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hayden, Brian, 1996, Feasting in Prehistoric and Traditional Societies. In Food and the Status Quest: An Interdisciplinary Perspective, edited by Polly Wiessner and Wulf Schiefenhövel, pp. 127–146. Berghahn, Providence.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heimpel, W., 1987-90, Libation. A.I Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatischen Archäologie Siebter Band. Pp. 1–5. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Heinz, Marlies, 1989, Die Steingefässe aus Süd-und Mittelmesopotamien als Inschriftenträger der frühdynastischen Zeit. Baghdader Mitteilungen 20:197–224.

    Google Scholar 

  • Homès-Fredericq, D., 1987-90, Libation. B.I. Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatischen Archäologie. Siebter Band. pp. 7–10. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, Gregory, 1973, Local Exchange andEarly State Development in Southwestern Iran. Anthropological Papers 51. University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Jones, Jennifer, 1996, Standardized Volumes? Mass-produced Bowls of the Jemdet Nasr Period from Abu Salabikh, Iraq. Paléorient 12(1):153–160.

    Google Scholar 

  • Joyce, Rosemary, 1993, Women’s Work: Images of Production and Reproduction in Prehispanic Southern Central America. Current Anthropology 34:255–274.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kertzer, David, 1991, The Role of Ritual in State-formation. In Religious Regimes and State-formation: Perspectives from European Ethnology, edited by Eric Wolf, pp. 85–103. State University of New York Press, Albany.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kovacs, Maureen, translator, 1989, The Epic of Gilgamesh. Stanford University Press, Stanford, California.

    Google Scholar 

  • LeBrun, Alain, 1980, Les Ecuelles Grossières: Etat de la Question. In L’Archéologie de l’Iraq, edited by Marie-Thérèse Barrelet, pp. 59–70. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris.

    Google Scholar 

  • Michalowski, Piotr, 1994, The Drinking Gods: Alcohol in Mesopotamian Ritual and Mythology. In Drinking in Ancient Societies: History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East, edited by Lucio Milano, pp. 27–44. Sargon srl, Padua.

    Google Scholar 

  • Millard, Alan, 1988, The Bevelled-rim Bowls: Their Purpose and Significance. Iraq 50:49–57.

    Google Scholar 

  • Moon, Jane, 1987, Catalogue of Early Dynastic Pottery. Abu Salabikh Excavations vol. 3. British School of Archaeology in Iraq, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Müller-Karpe, Michael, 1993, Metallgefäβe im Iraq I (Von den Anfängen bis zur Akkad-Zeit). Prähistorische Bronzefunde Abteilung II Band 14. Franz Steiner, Stuttgart.

    Google Scholar 

  • Neumann, Hans, 1994, Beer as a Means of Compensation for Work in Mesopotamia during the Ur III Period. In Drinking in Ancient Societies: History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East, edited by Lucio Milano, pp. 321–331. Sargon srl, Padua.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nissen, Hans, 1970, Grabung in den Quadraten K/L XII in Uruk-Warka. Baghdader Mitteilungen 5:101–191.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nissen, Hans, 1988, The Early History of the Ancient Near East, 9000–2000B.C. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

    Google Scholar 

  • Nissen, Hans, 1998, Geschichte Alt-Vorderasiens. Oldenbourg, München.

    Google Scholar 

  • Oppenheim, A. Leo, 1964, Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization. University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pinnock, Frances, 1994, Considerations on the “Banquet Theme” in the Figurative Art of Mesopotamia and Syria. In Drinking in Ancient Societies: History and Culture of Drinks in the Ancient Near East, edited by Lucio Milano, pp. 15–26. Sargon srl, Padua.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pollock, Susan, 1983a, Style and Information: An Analysis of Susiana Ceramics. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 2:354–390.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pollock, Susan, 1983b, The Symbolism of Prestige: An Archaeological Example from the Royal Cemetery of Ur. PhD dissertation, University of Michigan, University Microfilms, Ann Arbor.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pollock, Susan, 1991, Of Priestesses, Princes, and Poor Relations: The Dead in the Royal Cemetery of Ur. Cambridge Archaeological Journal 1:171–189.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Pollock, Susan, 1999, Ancient Mesopotamia: The Eden That Never Was. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Postgate, J. Nicholas, 1983, The West Mound Surface Clearance. Abu Salabikh Excavations vol. 1. British School of Archaeology in Iraq, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Postgate, J. Nicholas, 1992, Early Mesopotamia: Society and Economy at the Dawn of History. Routledge, London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Potts, Timothy, 1989, Foreign Stone Vessels of the Late Third Millennium B.C. from Southern Mesopotamia: Their Origins and Mechanisms of Exchange. Iraq 51:123–164.

    Google Scholar 

  • Potts, Timothy, 1994, Mesopotamia and the East: An Archaeological and Historical Study of Foreign Relations c. 3400–2000 B.C. Oxford University Committee for Archaeology, Monograph 37, Oxford.

    Google Scholar 

  • Powell, Marvin, 1994, Elusive Eden: Private Property at the Dawn of History. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 46:99–104.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Rosengarten, Yvonne, 1960, Le Concept Sumérien de Consommation dans la Vie Economique et Religieuse. Éditions de Boccard, Paris.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sallaberger, Walther, 1993, Der kultische Kalender der Ur III-Zeit. Walter de Gruyter, Berlin.

    Google Scholar 

  • Schmandt-Besserat, Denise, 2000, Feasting in the Ancient Near East. In Feasts: Archaeological and Ethnographic Perspectives on Food, Politics, and Power, edited by Michael Dietler and Brian Hayden, pp. 391–403. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.

    Google Scholar 

  • Selz, Gebhard, 1996, Ne-sa—, Bur-sa— und Gú-ne(-sa-á): Zu zwei Gefässbezeichnungen, ihren Bedeutungsentwicklungen und einem sumerischen Wort für (Gefäss)schrank. Studi Epigrafici e Linguistici sul Vicino Orientale Antico 13:3–8.

    Google Scholar 

  • Selz, Gudrun, 1983, Die Bankettszene. Entwicklung eines” überzeitlichen” Bildmotifs in Mesopotamien von der frühdynastichen bis zur Akkad-Zeit. Wiesbaden. Freiburger altorientalische Studien 11.

    Google Scholar 

  • Sørensen, Marie Louise Stig, 2000, Gender Archaeology. Polity Press, Cambridge.

    Google Scholar 

  • Steele, Caroline, 1990, Living with the Dead: House Burial at Abu Salabikh. PhD dissertation, State University of New York at Binghamton. University Microfilms, Ann Arbor.

    Google Scholar 

  • Waetzoldt, Hartmut, 1987, Compensation of Craft Workers and Officials in the Ur IIIP. In Labor in the Ancient Near East, edited by Marvin Powell, pp. 117–141. American Oriental Society, New Haven, CT.

    Google Scholar 

  • Weadock, Penelope, 1975, The giparu at Ur. Iraq 37:101–128.

    Google Scholar 

  • Winter, Irene, 1985, After the Battle is Over: The Stele of the Vultures and the Beginning of Historical Narrative in the Art of the Ancient Near East. In Pictorial Narrative in Antiquity and the Middle Ages, edited by Herbert Kessler and Marianna Simpson, pp. 11–32. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

    Google Scholar 

  • Winter, Irene, 1999, Reading Ritual in the Archaeological Record: Deposition Pattern and Function of Two Artifact Types from the Royal Cemetery of Ur. In Fluchtpunkt Uruk: Archäologische Einheit aus methodischer Vielfalt. Schriften für Hans Jörg Nissen, edited by Hartmut Kühne, Reinhard Bernbeck, and Karin Bartl, pp. 229–256. Marie Leidorf, Rahden.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wolf, Eric, 1999, Cognizing “Cognized Models.” American Anthropologist 101:19–22.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Woolley, C. Leonard (1934) Ur Excavations, Vol. II: The Royal Cemetery. University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania and The British Museum Press, Philadelphia and London.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wright, Henry T., 1969, The Administration of Rural Production in an Early Mesopotamian Town. Anthropological Papers 38. University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, Ann Arbor.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wright, Henry T. and Gregory Johnson, 1975, Population, Exchange, and Early State Formation in Southwestern Iran. American Anthropologist 77:267–289.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2003 Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Pollock, S. (2003). Feasts, Funerals, and Fast Food in Early Mesopotamian States. 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_2

Download citation

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-306-48246-5_2

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-0-306-47730-0

  • Online ISBN: 978-0-306-48246-5

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive