Ceramics, Cuisine and Culture: the Archaeology and Science of Kitchen Pottery in the Ancient Mediterranean World

The British Museum’s Department of Greece and Rome is pleased to announce its 2010 Classical Colloquium on Ceramics, Cuisine and Culture: the Archaeology and Science of Kitchen Pottery in the Ancient Mediterranean World, organized jointly with the British Museum’s Department of Conservation and Scientific Research and the ‘Tracing Networks’ Research Programme (Universities of Leicester, Exeter and Glasgow), funded by the Leverhulme Trust, and to be held at the British Museum in London 16-17th December 2010. The organisers gratefully acknowledge the generous assistance of the Institute of Classical Studies, London, in supporting this conference.

This conference is dedicated to the cross-disciplinary interpretation of ancient ‘kitchen pottery’, i.e. utilitarian wares used as food containers or for food processing in a broad sense. By bringing together established scholars and young researchers from a wide range of academic backgrounds, including archaeologists, material scientists, historians, and ethnoarchaeologists, Ceramics, Cuisine and Culture will stimulate an international and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas and approaches.

Themes will include:

Science, archaeology and society – how scientific techniques can reveal technological choices, cultural preferences and knowledge transfer
Production, consumption and the social biographies of utilitarian pottery – debates on the interplay of social and technological factors, social networks of production and consumption, development of specialist technologies (e.g. resistance to thermal shock), lifespan, re-use and recycling of kitchen pottery
Cuisine, culture and social hierarchies – the impact of context and status on food processing and storage, the significance of ritual, feasting, funerary and other ‘special’ contexts
Changing habits: cuisine on the move – innovations and adaptations in food processing and cooking in new or changing cultural settings, food and cultural identity, the impact of trade and migration

The conference aims to set this ubiquitous category of artefacts in its wider social, political and economic contexts, in order to exploit it more effectively for understanding ancient societies. The proceedings will be published in a peer-reviewed volume.

For the provisional conference programme, please click here

Booking for the conference is now open; please click here

For further information and submission of abstracts, please contact the organizing committee at kitchenpottery@googlemail.com

The organizing committee: Alexandra Villing (BM), Michela Spataro (BM), Lin Foxhall (Leicester)


Workshop poster

British Museum Classical Colloquium 2010 (Flyer)

Presentation poster guidelines