Past Event

Dorian Q. Fuller - Baking up Western Civilization and Some African Alternatives

April 17, 2019
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
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Institute For The Study Of The Ancient World (Lecture Hall), New York University, 15 East 84th Street, New York

Event Description: 

Baked bread is both basic to west Asian civilization and distinctive of it in the global context. The origins of cereal agriculture in Western Asia preceded the development of cooking pots, but instead processing focused on production of flour and breads. This is most obvious in the widespread archaeological distribution of ovens from southeastern Europe through the Indus and up the Nile to Nubia. It is also reflected in the relative prominence of querns for grinding, as well as new archaeobotanical techniques for identifying crumbs of bread or crusts of porridge. At first, bread may have been the distinctive new cereal food, unlike anything that was easily cooked from wild gathered foods. But later bread lent itself to portability, and therefore to sharing among traders, travelers, and across the echelons of society. It complemented the cheeses and butters that pastoral producers might also make portable. Bread could be shared as offerings to distant gods alongside odors of incense and roast sacrificial meats.

Event Speaker:

Dorian Q. Fuller, Professor of Archaeobotany, University of College London

Event Information: 

This event is free and open to the public, however registration is required via Eventbrite. Please visit the event webpage for additional information. 

Part of the 10th Annual Rostovtzeff Lecture Series, "Feeding Civilizations: A Comparative Long-Term Consideration of Agricultural and Culinary Traditions across the Old World" at NYU's Institute For The Study Of The Ancient World