Krish Seetah

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Stanford U.

Grant number

Gr. 9319

Approve Date

October 4, 2016

Project Title

Seetah, Dr. Krish, Stanford U., Stanford, CA - To aid research and writing on 'Butchery as Social Practice: An Archaeological Case Study' - Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

KRISH SEETAH, Stanford University, Stanford, California, was awarded a Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship to aid research and writing on “Butchery as Social Practice: An Archaeological Case Study.” This book conceptualizes butchery as an expression of technological knowledge and culture embedded in action, defining the human-animal relationship. Situating the relationship between practice, practitioner, material and commodity will resonate with the large body of scholars interested in food production, assembly, consumption, and the craft of cuisine. The book utilizes butchery as a point of departure for discussing the changing historical relationships with animal utility, symbolism, and meat consumption. Meat, cut marks, the historic trade, and the modern industry have all been extensively studied with copious literate on each of these subject areas. In addition, the role of craft in production, and the role of craftspeople have all received considerable attention. However, no comparable book has triangulated between these diverse topics to chart and define the subject of butchery in the new and creative fashion undertaken in this book. It is the first text to focused on the activity inherent in butchery, describe the “history of knowledge” that typifies the craft, and provide anthropological and archaeological case studies to support the book’s main conclusions. By innovatively conceptualising butchery in its own right, the overall achievement of the book not only illustrates what butchery is, but also, the potential this topic has for a much closer examination of praxis. Butchery is infinitely more than ‘cut marks’; it is embodied action.


Seetah, Krish. 2019. Humans, Animals, and the Craft of Slaughter in Archaeo-Historic Societies. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge and New York.