Speaker: Lin Foxhall, Rathbone Professor of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology, University of Liverpool
Title: "Farming, food and diet: living on (and off) the land in early Greece"
Abstract: This paper is part of a much larger project to rethink how communities and polities functioned (literally) on the ground between the late Bronze Age and the end of the sixth century BCE. It focuses on one element: exploring the evidence in Greece for how people and communities exploited their local environments to feed themselves during the later Bronze Age (ca. 1600-1200/1100 BCE) and Iron Age, (ca. 1100-700 BCE). I will consider how people lived off the land to investigate how people’s lives, practices and diets differed (or not) over this long period, and in particular how the Iron Age compares with later and earlier phases. Archaeological landscape and archaeobotanical evidence will be briefly discussed but the main focus is on a body of evidence that historians (and even some archaeologists have not yet fully exploited: stable isotope analysis data. This body of material, despite the limitations of current data sets, can already provide important new insights into consumption practices and social hierarchies which complement and move beyond the knowledge provided by other evidence streams. Inevitably, however, it also raises additional questions.
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