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A brief history of plant foods in the city of York

Hall, A. (2000) A brief history of plant foods in the city of York. In: White, E., (ed.) Feeding a city: York. The provision of food from Roman times to the beginning of the twentieth century. Prospect Books , Devon, UK , pp. 23-42. ISBN 1903018 021

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'It may just be the contents of a cesspit to you, but it's my bread and butter!' With these words, I have frequently tried to laugh off the slight embarrassment I feel when explaining what I do for a living to those who ask. Within archaeology, the idea of sifting through the contents of a cesspit in search of evidence for past food rarely ranks as a curiosity any more, but in the wider world surprise is sometimes expressed that anyone should either want to undertake such work or be paid for doing it. What I hope to do in this short contribution is to try to conjure up some of the flavour - if that is an appropriate metaphor - of archaeobotanical studies of ancient foods in York, drawing on a corpus of data collected over a period of more than two decades (though a large proportion of it still, sadly, unpublished, and likely to remain so) from deposits of almost all cultural periods from Roman to post-medieval, but with a very heavy emphasis on the second to third, ninth to eleventh, and thirteenth and fourteenth centuries.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: Reproduced with permission.
Keywords: history of food,archaeobotany
Institution: The University of York
Academic Units: The University of York > Archaeology (York)
Depositing User: Repository Officer
Date Deposited: 21 Apr 2006
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2016 23:13
Status: Published
Publisher: Prospect Books
Refereed: No
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1167

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