Pre-Columbian Foodways: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Food, Culture, and Markets in Ancient Mesoamerica by John Staller
The significance of food and feasting to Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican cultures has been extensively studied by archaeologists, anthropologists and art historians. Foodways studies have been critical to our understanding of early agriculture, political economies, and the domestication and management of plants and animals. Scholars from diverse fields have explored the symbolic complexity of food and its preparation, as well as the social importance of feasting in contemporary and historical societies. This book unites these disciplinary perspectives - from the social and biological sciences to art history and epigraphy - creating a work comprehensive in scope, which reveals our increasing understanding of the various roles of foods and cuisines in Mesoamerican cultures.
The volume is organized thematically into three sections. Part 1 gives an overview of food and feasting practices as well as ancient economies in Mesoamerica. Part 2 details ethnographic, epigraphic and isotopic evidence of these practices. Finally, Part 3 presents the metaphoric value of food in Mesoamerican symbolism, ritual, and mythology. The resulting volume provides a thorough, interdisciplinary resource for understanding, food, feasting, and cultural practices in Mesoamerica.