Paul Halstead, "Feast, Food and Fodder in Neolithic-Bronze Age Greece: Commemsality and the Construction of Value", in: Between Feasts and Daily Meals. Towards an Archaeology of Commensal Spaces, eTopoi. Journal for Ancient Studies, Special Volume 2 (2012), 21–51


This paper explores the relationship between mundane domestic and more formal meals in recent rural Greece, as a prelude to a diachronic examination of the range of commensal behavior through the Neolithic and Bronze Age of the same region. Analysis of recent practices highlights the role of a hierarchy of low- to high-value foods. While Neolithic commensality beyond the household emphasizes equality and collective cohesion, formal commensality takes a strikingly and increasingly diacritical form through the Bronze Age. It is argued that Bronze Age diacritical commensality was part of a broader strategy of elite “choreography” of social life. A hierarchy of foods, which linked diacritical behavior, labor mobilization and risk buffering, may have played a critical role in driving this trajectory of change.

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