Food in Medieval England: Diet and Nutrition

Overview


Food and diet are central to understanding daily life in the middle ages. In the last two decades, the potential for the study of diet in medieval England has changed markedly: historians have addressed sources in new ways; material from a wide range of sites has been processed by zooarchaeologists and archaeobotanists; and scientific techniques, newly applied to the medieval period, are opening up possibilities for understanding the cumulative effects of diet on the skeleton. In a multi-disciplinary approach to...
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Overview


Food and diet are central to understanding daily life in the middle ages. In the last two decades, the potential for the study of diet in medieval England has changed markedly: historians have addressed sources in new ways; material from a wide range of sites has been processed by zooarchaeologists and archaeobotanists; and scientific techniques, newly applied to the medieval period, are opening up possibilities for understanding the cumulative effects of diet on the skeleton. In a multi-disciplinary approach to the subject, this volume, written by leading experts in different fields, unites analysis of the historical, archaeological, and scientific record to provide an up-to-date synthesis. The volume covers the whole of the middle ages from the early Saxon period up to c .1540, and while the focus is on England wider European developments are not ignored.

The first aim of the book is to establish how much more is now known about patterns of diet, nutrition, and the use of food in display and social competition; its second is to promote interchange between the methodological approaches of historians and archaeologists. The text brings together much original research, marrying historical and archaeological approaches with analysis from a range of archaeological disciplines, including archaeobotany, archaeozoology, osteoarchaeology, and isotopic studies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199563357
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/26/2009
  • Series: Medieval History and Archaeology Series
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 1,336,476
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

C.M. Woolgar is Reader and Head of Speical Collections at the University of Southampton Library.

D. Serjeantson is Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Southampton.

T. Waldron is Consultant Physician at St. Mary's Hospital, London, and Honorary Professor at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London.

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Table of Contents

1 Introduction 1
2 The consumption of field crops in late medieval England 11
3 Gardens and garden produce in the later Middle Ages 27
4 The archaeology of medieval plant foods 41
5 From Cu and Sceap to Beffe and Motton 56
6 Pig husbandry and pork consumption in medieval England 72
7 Meat and dairy products in late medieval England 88
8 Fish consumption in medieval England 102
9 Birds : food and a mark of status 131
10 The consumption and supply of birds in late medieval England 148
11 The impact of the Normans on hunting practices in England 162
12 Procuring, preparing, and serving venison in late medieval England 176
13 Group diets in late medieval England 191
14 Seasonal patterns in food consumption in the later Middle Ages 201
15 Monastic pittances in the Middle Ages 215
16 Diet in medieval England : the evidence from stable isotopes 228
17 Medieval diet and demography 239
18 Nutrition and the skeleton 254
19 Conclusion 267
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