Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationArizona, U. of
Grant numberGr. 9468
Approve DateApril 25, 2017
Project TitleMoses, Victoria C., U.of Arizona, Tucson, AZ - To aid research on 'The Zooarchaeology of Early Rome: Meat Consumption in Public and Private Spaces,' supervised by Dr. Emma Blake
Preliminary abstract: During Rome’s Archaic Period (8th-6th centuries BCE), the city shifted rapidly from a modest pastoral settlement into a major urban center. In this time of increasing social complexity, life changed drastically for the Romans. There was suddenly greater formalization of religious and political institutions, monumentalization of architecture, and economic shifts. Notably, this change in lifestyle from household level economics to a market economy would have greatly impacted diet, especially meat production and consumption. Instead of raising their own livestock as many did in the area prior to urbanization, the new city dwellers relied primarily on handouts. Meat was distributed to the urban masses in new ways. The main method of providing meat to the residents of Rome was through large-scale animal sacrifices and subsequent communal meat consumption. However, meat was also consumed, at least occasionally, in the home, as it had been prior to urbanization. This leads to my main research question: how did meat consumption in public and private spaces differ, and what does that reveal about the adoption of a new urban, civic identity? My research uses zooarchaeology, or the study of animal bones from archaeological sites, to quantify how meat consumption was different in public, urban sanctuaries and in dwellings during the Iron Age and Archaic Period. I then interpret these differences within their archaeological context to see how diet expressed the social changes that occurred in Archaic Rome.