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Archaeology of Food and Foodways Vol 1

Archaeology of Food and Foodways: New Journal

Archaeology of Food and Foodways, a new international refereed journal, was launched by Associate Professor Shanti Morell-Hart in collaboration with Erica Rowan (Royal Holloway, United Kingdom) and Shinya Shoda (Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Japan). The journal showcases original scholarly work on the relationship between human sustenance and society, covering time periods from prehistory through the 19th century. The journal also highlights work by scholars and other specialists who apply archaeological findings to public policy, culinary arts, and dietary regimes.

Mar 24, 2022

From the editor's introduction:

"Food is mundane, a necessity for basic human survival. Yet it is also deeply imbued with cultural, economic, spiritual and political significance. As both quotidian sustenance and social cornerstone, food has always played a central role in human lifeways. Alongside rich depictions of culinary arts in ancient paintings, and lush descriptions in ancient writings, food and its associated materials have left numerous traces in the archaeological record. Once simply considered in caloric terms for subsistence modeling, or sometimes as curiosity in the occasional funerary setting, the study of past foodways has grown exponentially in recent decades to encompass a number of social and environmental topics.

Decades of archaeological studies have shed new light on social dynamics as well as ethnoecological issues in the human past, using traces of foodways scattered across media. Ancient food studies makes use of virtually all subdisciplines of archaeology, including ceramic and residue analysis, archaeobotany, zooarchaeology, isotope analysis, features and activity areas, sensory archaeology, and ethnographic research. Significant advances in environmental archaeology and archaeological science have enabled us to view and study human relationships with food in more depth and detail than ever before. The time has come to devote a journal entirely to these topics, to capture the wealth of food studies and facilitate discussion between food scholars.

Archaeology of Food and Foodways is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal that welcomes original research on any aspects of the archaeology of food. The journal aims to be a home for archaeologists who, while specialists in particular regions, cultures or artifact types, are also broadly-informed and make use of other forms of material culture. By having a journal focused on the archaeology of food, rather than food more generally, we have created a space where scholars can discuss their work and findings in considerable depth and detail. This is a space where the hard sciences, soft sciences and humanities can be presented side by side and easily enter into dialogue with one another. Since food cuts across cultures and time periods, the journal aims to act as a focal point for scholars to assess various methodological approaches, compare findings and interpretations, and expand their knowledge of foodways both geographically and chronologically.

The journal showcases scholarly work on the dynamics between food and culture, food and the environment, and shifts in foodways over time, covering prehistory through the 19th century. We encourage the submission of original work by archaeologists, historians, Classicists and other scholars who address methodologies, theories, historical trajectories, cross-cultural comparisons and controversies surrounding ancient material culture and past foodways. Recognizing the highly varied nature of food research and the ways in which it can be presented, we have aimed to create flexible submission formats, including research articles (standard research presentation), thematic essays (more theoretically-inclined pieces), applied archaeological findings (geared toward those outside of academia, such as public policy makers and chefs, who make use of archaeological research), and photo essays (usually experimental or ethnoarchaeological). We encourage submissions that cross disciplinary boundaries and are theoretically informed, since, as we all know, ‘food is good to think with’ (see Hastorf, this issue)."

 Volume 1.1 was published April 13, 2022. More information can be found on the Journal website.