Connecting Foodways: Cultural Entanglement and Technological Transmission between the Middle Nile valley and central and eastern Africa during the Early Iron Age (Applicant Wolf, Simone)
Our contribution to the study of inter-regional African entanglements will explore cross-cultural connections in central and eastern Africa through the study of past foodways. A number of recently discovered kitchen contexts from the region of Meroe, Sudan, will serve as a basis for identifying a range of material correlates of preparatory and consumptive practices during the Early Iron Age (ca. 1000 BC – 1000 AD). Our multidisciplinary approach will focus on the functional traits of food-related material culture, incorporating a broad suite of laboratory analyses. These high resolution investigations will serve as the first step in generating a detailed model of the regional tradition of food processing and consumption. In a second step, the Meroe case study will then provide the basis for a cross-cultural comparison within the study area of central and eastern Africa, for example Eritrea, Ethiopia and Chad, utilizing excavation material, legacy data and published sources. This way, specific food-related artefacts will serve as indicators of interaction throughout this region, to identify broader African traditions of food technologies.
Dr. Simone Wolf
German Archaeological Institute / Headquarters Berlin