Consumption, Trade and Innovation
Studies of food and foodways are vital to exploring past (and present) cultures. The food remains discovered at the port of Quseir al-Qadim are especially revealing, offering important information about the ancient spice trade and the food practices of those engaged in this trade. Quseir al-Qadim acted as a transhipment port in the Indian Ocean spice trade during both the Roman and medieval Islamic periods. It is located on the Red Sea coast of Egypt and was active between ca. AD 1-250 (Myos Hormos) and again during ca. AD 1050-1500 (Kusayr). This monograph describes the analysis and interpretation of the botanical remains (foodstuffs, wood) recovered during the excavations that took place between 1999-2003, conducted by the University of Southampton, UK. The spectacular preservation conditions at Quseir al-Qadim meant that food remains and wood were found in abundance, including fragments of onion skin, citrus rind, garlic cloves, aubergine seeds, banana skins, wooden bowls, spoons and combs, as well as many of the Eastern spices traded through the port, such as black pepper, ginger, cardamom and betelnut. These remains are fully analysed and discussed under three overarching themes: trade, agricultural innovation and food consumption. The results provide significant new evidence for the Eastern trade and for the changes in agriculture that indirectly resulted from it. They also allow real insights into the lives of those working in the ports. They show the changes in the nature and scale of the Indian Ocean trade between the Roman and Islamic periods, as well as a major shift in the way the inhabitants of the ports saw themselves and located themselves in the wider world. Richly illustrated and thought-provoking, this volume identifies how studies of food enable fuller dialogues regarding 'globalization' and also highlights clearly the importance of food in the dynamics of cultural identity and geopolitics.
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2 Spices Culinary and Medicinal Commodities
3 Summer Crops FromTrade to Innovation
4 Food and Foodways Patterns of Everyday Life
5 Woodworking and Firewood Resource Exploitation
6 Myos Hormos and Kusayr Different Worlds
Acacia Africa Allium Apicius archaeobotanical archaeological artefacts assemblage aubergine banana barley bean belleric myrobalan Berenike black pepper brail rings Buxus century cereal chaff Chapter citron Citrus cf consumption cultivation Dalbergia sp desiccated durum early Eastern Egypt Elettaria cardamomum endocarp evidence excavations Fatimid fodder fragm fragments fruit stone ginger grain hilum ibid identified important indet Indeterminate India Indian Ocean Islamic Islamic deposits Islamic period Kusayr Late Islamic lime main Islamic Mamluk Mediterranean midden Mons Claudianus Mons Porphyrites Myos Hormos myrobalan Nile valley nuts pearl millet Phoenix dactylifera plants Plate port Prunus Quseir al-Qadim R_Date race bicolor race durra rachis rachis nodes radiocarbon dates recipes Red Sea Rengen rice rind Roman and Islamic Roman period samples sativum sebakh seeds ships Sorghum bicolor species suggests summer crops Table Tamarix Tamarix sp taro Terminalia Tetradium tion trade transhipment Trench 2B Triticum veen vegetables Vitis vinifera watermelon wheat wood