Archaeological case studies that explore the rituals and cultural significance of foods in the southeastern United States
Understanding and explaining societal rules surrounding food and foodways have been the foci of anthropological studies since the early days of the discipline. Baking, Bourbon, and Black Drink: Foodways Archaeology in the American Southeast, however, is the first collection devoted exclusively to southeastern foodways analyzed through archaeological perspectives. These essays examine which foods were eaten and move the discussion of foodstuffs into the sociocultural realm of why, how, and when they were eaten.
Editors Tanya M. Peres and Aaron Deter-Wolf present a volume that moves beyond basic understandings, applying new methods or focusing on subjects not widely discussed in the Southeast to date. Chapters are arranged using the dominant research themes of feasting, social and political status, food security and persistent places, and foodways histories. Contributors provide in-depth examination of specific food topics such as bone marrow, turkey, Black Drink, bourbon, earth ovens, and hominy.
Contributors bring a broad range of expertise to the collection, resulting in an expansive look at all of the steps taken from field to table, including procurement, production, cooking, and consumption, all of which have embedded cultural meanings and traditions. The scope of the volume includes the diversity of research specialties brought to bear on the topic of foodways as well as the temporal and regional breadth and depth, the integration of multiple lines of evidence, and, in some cases, the reinvestigation of well-known sites with new questions and new data.