The nature of the feast: commensality and the politics of consumption in Viking Age and Early Medieval Northern Europe

Mainland, I. and Batey, C. (2019) The nature of the feast: commensality and the politics of consumption in Viking Age and Early Medieval Northern Europe. World Archaeology, (doi:10.1080/00438243.2019.1578260) (Early Online Publication)

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Abstract

In Early Medieval Northern Europe, food was more than mere sustenance. Rather, dietary choices were used to define and manipulate identity and shape power politics. Using the Norse Earldom of Orkney as a case study and commensality as an analytical framework, the authors explore how the archaeology of food, and in particular zooarchaeological evidence, can be used alongside near contemporary historical sources to better understand the political and social role of food, as well as the likely scale and impact of commensal activities on farming economies and environments in the Medieval North Atlantic. They argue that feasting and, by extension, the mechanisms by which preferentially consumed foodstuffs were grown, procured and processed, would have had a transformative impact on Norse society at diverse scales, from enabling individuals to participate in social negotiations to driving local and regional economies.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Ingrid Mainland would like to acknowledge the support of a British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship (2014-5) for the collation of the data used in this article.
Status:Early Online Publication
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Batey, Dr Colleen
Authors: Mainland, I., and Batey, C.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Journal Name:World Archaeology
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
ISSN:0043-8243
ISSN (Online):1470-1375
Published Online:01 July 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group
First Published:First published in World Archaeology 2019
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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