The Social Archaeology of Food offers a global perspective on the role food has played in shaping human societies, through both individual and collective identities. It integrates ethnographic and archaeological case studies from the European and Near Eastern Neolithic, Han China, ancient Cahokia, Classic Maya, the Inka and many other periods and regions, to ask how the meal in particular has acted as a social agent in the formation of society, economy, culture and identity. Drawing on a range of social theorists, Hastorf provides a theoretical toolkit essential for any archaeologist interested in foodways. Studying the social life of food, The Social Archaeology of Food engages with taste, practice, the meal and the body to discuss power, identity, gender and meaning that creates our world as it created past societies.
1. Introduction: the social life of food
Part I. Laying the Groundwork:
2. Framing food investigation
3. The practices of a meal in society
Part II. Current Food Studies in Archaeology:
4. The archaeological study of food activities
5. Food economics
6. Food politics: power and status
Part III. Food and Identity: The Potentials of Food Archaeology:
7. Food in the construction of group identity
8. The creation of personal identity: food, body and personhood
9. Food creates society
Christine A. Hastorf is known for her contributions to palaeoethnobotany, agriculture, meaning and the everyday, food studies, political economy, and ritual in middle range societies of the Andean region of South America. She has written and edited many articles and books, and has completed fieldwork in Mexico, California, New Mexico, Italy, Peru, Argentina, Bolivia, Turkey and England. She oversees an archaeobotanical laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley and directs an archaeological project in Bolivia. At the 2012 Society for American Archaeology meetings, she was awarded the Fryxell Award for Excellence in the Botanical Sciences in Archaeology.