Joshua Driscoll

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Wisconsin, Milwaukee, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 9593

Approve Date

April 13, 2018

Project Title

Driscoll, Joshua I., U. of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI - To aid research on 'Strategic Drinking: Beverage Shelf-Life and Socio-Political Practice in Early Iron Age West-Central Europe,' supervised by Dr. Bettina Arnold

Preliminary abstract: This dissertation tests key assumptions about the durability of prehistoric beer in order to investigate how the production and consumption of alcohol was entangled with social organization and political practice in Iron Age west-central Europe. An experimental archaeological approach is used to test the terminal shelf-life of prehistoric-style beer stored in a variety of vessels. These results are compared to ethnographic and historic models relating beverage shelf-life to politically motivated feasting events and social structure. From this information I generate hypotheses about Iron Age beer’s entanglement with social organization and compare them to published archaeological data from the site of Hochdorf specifically and the West Hallstatt culture more broadly. This project reveals the need to reconsider the relationship between indigenous beverages, like beer, and foreign imported Mediterranean wine as strategic resources for status display and the creation of social obligation. This project also contributes to a cross-disciplinary discussion on alcohol, intoxicants, and society.