Department of Archaeology

Food and Drink in Archaeology

Claire Newton, Naomi Sykes Food and drink fulfil more than just biological need: the whole process of their production, distribution and consumption plays an important role in sustaining meaningful social practice. Given that foodways are culturally determined the study of archaeological diet and consumption practices can provide a clear insight into the fabric, behaviour and ideology past societies.

This project focuses on the foodways of Roman and Medieval Europe but also involves anthropological investigation, including self-experimentation in the Living la vida local project. This research enhances teaching on several of the department’s modules: Environmental Archaeology (year one), Bioarchaeology (year two), Beastly Questions (year 3) and Foodways in Archaeology (MSc).

All of our student have the opportunity to contribute to the Food and Drink in Archaeology conference, an annual event started by Nottingham’s archaeology students who, with support from staff, have taken responsibility for obtaining funding and organising the conference as well as editing the proceedings for publication.



Baker, S., Gray, A., Lakin, K., Madgwick, R., Poole, K. and Sandias, M (series editor Sykes and Newton). 2009. Food and Drink in Archaeology 2. Prospect Books

Baker, S. Allen, M., Middle, S. and Poole, K (series editor Sykes and Newton). 2008. Food and Drink in Archaeology 1. Prospect Books

Sykes, N.J. in press. ‘Deer, land, knives and halls: social change in early medieval England’ Antiquaries Journal.

Sykes, N. J. 2007. Cooking, class and cultural identity, pp. 86-93 in The Norman Conquest: A Zooarchaeological Perspective (BAR International Series 1656) Oxford: Archaeopress.

Sykes, N. J. 2005 'From cu and sceap to beffe and motton: the management, distribution and consumption of cattle and sheep AD 410-1550', inC. Woolgar, D. Serjeantson and T. Waldron, (ed.) Food in Medieval England: History and Archaeology Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sykes, N. J. 2005. ‘Animal bones’, 78-86 in J. Manley and D. Rudkin, A pre-AD43 ditch at Fishbourne Roman Palace, Chichester. Britannia 34, 55-100.



Department of Archaeology

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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