Social Dimensions of Food in the Prehistory of the Eastern Balkans and Neighbouring Areas
Interdiziplinäre und internationale Akademiekonferenz junger Wissenschaftler
Ever since the definition of the Neolithic Revolution by Vere Gordon Childe, prehistorians have been aware of the crucial importance of food for the understanding of prehistoric developments. Numerous studies have classified and described cooking ware, hearths and ovens, have studied food residues and more recently also stable isotopes in skeletal material. However, we have not yet succeeded in integrating traditional, functional perspectives on nutrition and semiotic approaches (e.g. dietary practices as an identity marker) with current research in the fields of Food Studies and Material Culture Studies.
This conference focuses on practices of food production and consumption in their social dimensions from the Mesolithic to the Early Iron Age in the Eastern Balkans, a region with intermediary position between Anatolia and the Aegean Sea on one side and Central Europe and the Eurasian steppe regions on the other side. The prehistoric inhabitants of the Eastern Balkans were repeatedly confronted with foreign knowledge and practices of food production and consumption which they integrated and thereby transformed into their life. On the basis of a transdisciplinary perspective, we intend to shed new light on the various social dimensions of food in a synchronous as well as diachronic perspective.