Adelheid Otto, "Defining and Transgressing the Boundaries between Ritual Commensality and Daily Commensal Practices: the Case of Late Bronze Age Tall Bazi", in: Between Feasts and Daily Meals. Towards an Archaeology of Commensal Spaces, eTopoi. Journal for Ancient Studies, Special Volume 2 (2012), 179–195


Ritual commensality is a well documented social practice in texts and visual arts of the Ancient Near East. However, no information about daily commensality can be derived from these sources. The mere fact that a daily procedure as simple as eating and drinking was depicted hints at the meaning of this scene as a social event with a high symbolic value, while ordinary daily meals never seem to be represented. This paper argues that in everyday life, the boundaries between ritual and daily commensality were often floating. In order to acquire information on daily commensal practice and on the differences to ritual commensality, the architectonic and the more unspectacular archaeological remains at the Mesopotamian site of Tall Bazi are investigated.

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