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2c.5ii everyday lfe - food and dining

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2c.5ii everyday lfe - food and dining

  1. 1. Everyday Life - Food and Dining
  2. 2. Evidence for Food• The most reliable evidence of the food eaten in Pompeii and Herculaneum comes from the carbonised remains of the food itself• Such remains have been fund in ovens, cooking pots and dishes, food traces found in ancient toilets; root casts of vines and fruit trees which grew in and around the towns, pollen of various plants found in the ash deposit and the remains of fish and animals in markets
  3. 3. Evidence for Food• Frescoes showing banqueting scenes and receipts such as those of Alpicius also provide information about food in Roman times• However, without corroborating archaeological evidence, it cannot be assumed that they are reliable sources about the food eaten in Pompeii and Herculaneum• Skeletal remains of the victims of Vesuvius were generally well-nourished, suggesting a healthy diet
  4. 4. Evidence for Cooking and Dining • Evidence for food preparation and cooking methods comes from cooking and eating utensils, cooking areas in houses, dining rooms and tabernae (a single room shop covered by a barrel vault within great indoor markets of ancient Pompeii... Each taberna had a window above it to let light into a wooden attic for storage and had a wide doorway) • The large number of bakeries suggest that bread was an important part of the diet
  5. 5. Evidence for Cooking and Dining• In most houses cooking was done on a portable brazier which could be used in any part of the house or garden• The House of the Vettii was one of the few houses with a kitchen• Food was prepared in some thermopolia (a commercial establishment where it was possible to purchase ready-to-eat food. The forerunner of today‘s restaurant, the items served at the thermopolia are sometimes compared to modern fast-food. These places were mainly used by the poor or those who simply could not afford a private kitchen, sometimes leading them to be scorned by the upper class)
  6. 6. Evidence for Cooking and Dining• Metal braziers, brick ovens and fireplaces indicate where food was cooked and the range of pots, pans and other utensils provide evidence of how it was cooked• It would have been possible to bake, boil, fry or BBQ using the equipment that has been uncovered• Most people would have eaten from pottery bowls and plates and drunk from pottery vessels, although in wealthier homes tableware made of silver, bronze and glass has been found
  7. 7. Evidence for Cooking and Dining• Larger houses had at least one dining room (triclinium) and often an additional dining area in the garden• The triclinium contained three couches on which diners reclined• Food and drinks were served on low tables placed near the couches
  8. 8. Evidence for Cooking and Dining• Frescoes and contemporary literature suggest that dinner parties were popular among wealthier families• Some of the dining rooms were beautifully decorated (e.g. The triclinium in the House of the Vettii)
  9. 9. Evidence for Cooking and Dining• A more elaborate dinner party would have several courses served by slaves and some form of entertainment such as dancers or musicians
  10. 10. Evidence for Cooking and Dining• Most people would have eaten simple meals prepared from fresh, local produce• The meal of the priests uncovered near the Temple of Isis may have been typical• It included cereal, eggs, fish and walnuts
  11. 11. Major Food Groups Based on the EvidenceFruit – figs, prunes, dates, pears, peaches, apples, cherries, pomegranates, olives and grapesVegetables – cabbage, onion, garlic, lettuce asparagus, cucumber, leeks, radishes and turnips
  12. 12. Major Food Groups Based on the Evidence Nuts and Seeds – walnuts, almonds, chestnuts, poppy seeds Seafood – fish, scallops, cockles, lobster, cuttlefish, garum
  13. 13. Major Food Groups Based on the EvidenceMeat – sheep, pig, cattle, goat, poultry, birdsPulses – peas, beans, lentilsCereal – barley, millet, wheat (in bread)

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