By Hardy T.
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I thank Norman Yoffee for bringing to my attention Zeder’s work. The documents from the Cairo Geniza indicate that in medieval Egypt many people consumed meat only on weekends and holidays, and usually this was limited to chicken and/or fish (at least among the Jewish residents); see Shlomo D. 4: Daily Life (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983) 233–34, 249–50; for a contrast between the diet of the wealthy and the poor, see pp. 244–45. 7 In this essay, I focus particularly on evidence of meat consumption in Iron Age Palestine, the preclassical Aegean, and the early Islamic East, drawing on a combination of literary sources and archaeological and zoological data.
An approach to the feast through the lens of social network analysis has been advocated, for instance, in Barbara J. S. Southwest,” in Network Analysis in Archaeology: New Approaches to Regional Interaction (ed. C. Knappett; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) 181–202. Backgrounds, Theoretical Perspectives, and Introductions 21 is a significant mechanism for the creation and maintenance of kinship structures or of shared memories that operate through the patrimonial household (bêt-ʾāb) and lineage, larger incorporations (and smaller ones as well) that are based and built on this same model become imbricated during the establishment of more-encompassing polities.
For example, feasting demanded certain practices of production and therefore influenced ancient economies. B. The Habitus as a Vehicle to Understanding Feasting Another way that feasting can be understood as a central social practice can be highlighted. As Dietler notes, during the development of a theoretical framework for feasting and its importance in the construction of social order, a heavy emphasis was placed on agency theory, primarily based on the work of P. ” 57 This habitus—the sum total of the predispositions that can be said to rule out actions that are considered unthinkable by the individual within the norms of a society— regulates actions through the built-up, subconscious inculcation of habits and thought processes, including the significant role played by daily meals.