Theorizing Food and Power in the Ancient Andes

  • Bethany L. Turner
  • Haagen D. Klaus
Part of the Bioarchaeology and Social Theory book series (BST)


Studying what ancient peoples ate is critical to understanding fundamental aspects of culture, and the analysis of archaeological sites and remains has become central to reconstructing ancient diets and subsistence regimes. Much of this work is based, inherently, on material correlates such as botanical and faunal remains, artifacts, iconography, skeletal markers of nutritional status, and so on. Nevertheless, a rich corpus of anthropological theory pertaining to foodways and the intersections of food and culture has great potential in bioarchaeology, allowing us to investigate not only what people ate and how they produced and/or procured it but what significance particular foods, modes of preparation, and contexts of consumption had in producing and reproducing culture. In this chapter, we review key themes and theoretical perspectives in anthropology relevant to studying foodways in antiquity and discuss their applicability in Central Andean settings.


Cuisines Practice theory Cultural fields Structuralism Biocultural Commensality Habitus Food cultures 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bethany L. Turner
    • 1
  • Haagen D. Klaus
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyGeorgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Sociology and AnthropologyGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA

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