Major international archaeology publication officially launched by UWTSD academics


A major international archaeology publication has been launched at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David this week.   Exploring the Materiality of Foodstuffs by Dr Louise Steel and Dr Katharina Zinn is the output of a Wenner-Gren Foundation funded workshop held at UWTSD’s Lampeter campus in 2014.

Lampeter Book Launch

The scope of the publication is interdisciplinary and the contributors are international and include world-renowned anthropologist Prof Rick Wilk (Indiana University) and archaeologist Prof Brian Hayden (Simon Fraser University). This new publication explores the materiality of foodstuffs past and present, examining humanity’s intriguingly complex relationships with, and experiences of, food. 

Dr Louise Steel, Reader in Mediterranean Archaeology at UWTSD said:  

“We’re delighted with the interest shown in our new publication and it was very pleasing for us to see so many people attend the book launch itself. We’re very proud of the final output and we’d like to thank the New York based Wenner-Gren Foundation for their support. 

This volume explores the materiality of foodstuffs past and present, examining humanity’s intriguingly complex relationships with, and experiences of, food. The book also makes a fresh contribution to our understanding of materiality through a novel focus on material culture, analysing objects used to prepare, wrap, serve and consume food and the tactile experiences involved in its production and consumption.  We believe that Exploring the Materiality of Food 'Stuffs' will make an important contribution to this burgeoning field and will be of interest to archaeologists and anthropologists working in the key area of food research.”   

As part of the official launch a re-enactment of an ancient wine drinking ceremony was held as recorded in the art of the Near East and Aegean.

Dr Katharina Zinn, Senior Lecturer in Egyptian Archaeology and Heritage added:

“It was a very successful event and we’d like to thank everybody that supported us and contributed towards the evening’s success. 

We’ve ensured that this book considers a wide range of cultures, spanning from ancient China to modern-day Kenya.   The broad collection of interdisciplinary chapters reveal the multiple interplays between foods, bodies, material worlds, rituals and embodied knowledge that emerge from these encounters and which, in turn, shape the material culture of food.

One of the highlights of the launch was the re-enactment of an ancient wine drinking ceremony.  This ceremony included the mixing of wine and water in a replica Mycenaean krater and using a dipper juglet serving it into different types of drinking cups according to status or ethnicity. We also demonstrated the correct way to drink from these cups, according to ancient etiquette of course.”

Further Information

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