Commensality: From Everyday Food to Feast (BOK)
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Throughout time and in all parts of the world, humans have eaten together socially. Commensality, eating and drinking together, is fundamentally a social activity which creates and cements bonds which define our place in society. Covering prehistoric archaeology, to medieval banquets, to the inaugural dinner of the American President to everyday commensality as we eat in our homes, with friends, in religious ceremonies and as a form of political activism, this rich collection provides a unique exploration of commensality. Scholars from history, archaeology and anthropology have long studied the human practices and material culture and artefacts associated with communal eating and feasting, but until now these critical insights have not been presented in dialogue with one another. Uniquely, this book fuses insights from anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, religious studies and literary scholars to introduce a truly multidisciplinary and inclusive survey of commensality to the present day. From the role of drinking in China to religious taboos to ancient cooking practices, this fascinating volume is indispensable reading for students and scholars of the anthropology, history and archaeology of food.