Near Eastern Seminar Series (NESS) | Hayley Saul – School of Humanities Near Eastern Seminar Series (NESS) | Hayley Saul – School of Humanities

Near Eastern Seminar Series (NESS) | Hayley Saul

Hayley Saul | University of Western Sydney

In the last two decades the ‘biomolecular turn’ in archaeology has accelerated, improving our abilities to make culinary identifications, particularly by systematically applying lipid residue analysis to pottery assemblages. These rich forms of culinary data have opened up new areas of debate, and this presentation: 1) explores what that means for an archaeology of cuisine; 2) critically examines what a ‘cuisine perspective’ is, and; 3) suggests how it can revitalise ‘dietary’ and ‘prestige’ explanatory frameworks about prehistoric food use. Using two case studies – Jomon Japan (c. 18,000-10,000 BC) and Neolithic Denmark (c. 2800-2300 cal BC) – located at either end of the route of pottery innovation across Eurasia, some recent results from the Early Pottery Research Group (EPRG) are presented. The findings of lipid residue and plant microfossil analysis are used to suggest that, in a cuisine perspective, food is part of multiple evaluation processes that cross-cut production and consumption spheres (Parker Pearson 2003). Foods might be related to issues of health, medicine, disease, consciousness, pollution, danger, the Self, or perhaps aesthetics and virtue. The results of ceramic residue analysis from Japan and Denmark are used to suggest some of the different ways that foods were structured into cuisine practices and culinary philosophies, including the role that foods played in managing risk at the transition to agriculture and exploring the properties of dairy colloids.

Dr Hayley Saul is a Senior Lecturer in Heritage Studies and the Director of the Himalayan Exploration and Archaeological Research Team (H.E.A.R.T). Her research explores the heritage and archaeology of the Himalayas and Inner Asia region, and the interface of these disciplines with livelihood development agendas. Hayley has led teams of archaeologists and surveyors on a series of expeditions to document archaeological remains in the Himalayas, particularly focused on recording prehistoric sites.


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Everyone is welcome to attend the Near Eastern Seminar Series.

Monday 7 June, 4:00-5:00 (AEST)

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The Department of Archaeology is part of the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry (SOPHI).

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Jun 07 2021


4:00 pm - 5:00 pm




+61 2 9351 4151

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