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Identifying the food cultures of ancient Europe: an interdisciplinary investigation of plant ingredients, culinary transformation and evolution through time

Objective

The project seeks to explore culinary practice among early farming European communities, from the Aegean to Central Europe, spanning the Neolithic through to the Iron Age (7th-1st millennia BC). The project seeks to identify the ‘food cultures’ of prehistoric Europe, and to reconstruct how cultivated and wild plant foods were transformed into dishes exploring their underlying cultural and environmental contexts and their evolution through time. The project will explore how culinary identities were shaped through the selection of plant foods both in terms of ingredients as well as processing and cooking practices. Thus not only species and meals but also the equipment involved in plant food preparation will be considered for the study area, linking the end product to the relevant technologies of transformation. Macroscopic and microscopic examination of the archaeological finds and experimental replication of various aspects of food preparation techniques informed by ethnographic investigations will form the main analytical tools. The interdisciplinary and contextual examination of the archaeological record will provide a fresh insight into prehistoric cuisine in Europe, the transformation of nature to culture through cooking. The project will revolutionise perceptions of prehistoric food preparation providing insights for the ‘longue durée’ of traditional plant foods constituting Europe’s intangible cultural heritage.

Call for proposal

ERC-2015-CoG
See other projects for this call

Host institution

ARISTOTELIO PANEPISTIMIO THESSALONIKIS
Address
Kedea Building, Tritis Septemvriou, Aristotle Univ Campus
54636 Thessaloniki
Greece
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 1 673 675

Beneficiaries (5)

ARISTOTELIO PANEPISTIMIO THESSALONIKIS
Greece
EU contribution
€ 1 673 675
Address
Kedea Building, Tritis Septemvriou, Aristotle Univ Campus
54636 Thessaloniki
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAT BASEL
Switzerland
EU contribution
€ 71 250
Address
Petersplatz 1
4051 Basel
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAET HOHENHEIM
Germany
EU contribution
€ 89 950
Address
Schloss Hohenheim
70599 Stuttgart
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
UNIVERSITAT WIEN

Participation ended

Austria
EU contribution
€ 0
Address
Universitatsring 1
1010 Wien
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
OESTERREICHISCHE AKADEMIE DER WISSENSCHAFTEN
Austria
EU contribution
€ 57 000
Address
Dr. Ignaz Seipel-platz 2
1010 Wien
Activity type
Research Organisations