The Archaeology and Politics of Food and Feasting in Early States and Empires

  • Tamara L. Bray

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. The Development of Horticulture in the Eastern Woodlands of North America: Women’s Role

  3. Old World

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 15-15
    2. Stuart Tyson Smith
      Pages 39-64
    3. Sarah Milledge Nelson
      Pages 65-89
  4. New World

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 92-92
    2. Tamara L. Bray
      Pages 93-142
    3. Paul S. Goldstein
      Pages 143-172
    4. Anita G. Cook, Mary Glowacki
      Pages 173-202
    5. Julia A. Hendon
      Pages 203-233
    6. Michael E. Smith, Jennifer B. Wharton, Jan Marie Olson
      Pages 235-268
  5. Concluding Remarks

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 270-270
    2. Michael Dietler
      Pages 271-282
  6. Epilogue

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 284-284
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 289-292

About this book


Food and feasting are increasingly recognized as having played a prominent role in the emergence of social hierarchies and the negotiation of power. Given the culinary nature of feasts, the archaeological visibility of such events is increased by the use of containers for both food preparation and consumption. The papers in this volume examine the commensal politics of early states and empires and offer a comparative perspective on how food and feasting have figured in the political calculus of archaic states in both the Old and New Worlds.
The contributors provide important new insights into the strategies of early statecraft and the role of pots as political tools by focusing on questions such as:

-What was the nature of the relationship between food, power, status, and identity in the context of early states?
-Was feasting a universally important element in the construction of state power?
-How do archaeologically discernible patterns of state feasting compare cross-culturally and through time?


Archaic period in North America Mesopotamia Vor- und Frühgeschichte archaic states manners

Editors and affiliations

  • Tamara L. Bray
    • 1
  1. 1.Wayne State UniversityDetroit

Bibliographic information