Art of the Meal: Alcohol and Feasting in the Ancient World
Commensality--the act of eating and drinking together--is a fundamental part of human social life, no matter the time or place. This course examines the wide variety of evidence from the ancient world for feasting activities, and especially the production and consumption of alcoholic beverages, in text, visual and material culture. Readings in anthropological theory and archaeological and ethnographic case studies are used to explore human relationships to food and alcohol in different social contexts, and their use in the construction of cultural similarity and difference, group identities, and social hierarchies. With special emphasis on the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East.