Category Archives: Billets

Our new ANR program : GEPRICO

Geprico (January 2023-January 2027), awarded by the ANR, brings together 5 CNRS laboratories (Temos, UMR 9016; AOrOc, UMR 8546; ASM, UMR 5140; CCJ, UMR 7299; Halma, UMR 8164) around the theme of Greek, Etruscan and Gallic banqueting practices in the north-western Mediterranean between the 6th and 4th centuries BC.

For more informations, see : https://bioarchaeo.hypotheses.org/research-programs/geprico

During this period, the north-western Mediterranean was traversed by three great civilizations of navigators: Etruscans, Greeks and Phoenician-Punic. From the main ports of maritime Etruria, the Etruscans maintained maritime trade relations with the Greeks and the indigenous communities along the Gallic and North Iberian coasts. The indigenous communities of the coastal strip of this region, particularly those of southern France, played an active part in these exchanges. Coastal trading posts, which were both centers of trade open to Mediterranean commerce and interfaces for the temporary or permanent reception of foreign traders, saw the development of sharing and mixing phenomena alongside diversified cultural and societal expressions. Among the cultural interactions and interpenetrations that brought Etruscan, Greek and Gallic societies closer together, the commensal rite is one of the best documented thanks to material sources found in habitats and tombs: banquet crockery, storage and transport vases, culinary ceramics, biological remains of meals (archaeozoology and archaeobotany). Archaeological evidence abounds of collective banquets characterized by a partly common material culture of Greek and Etruscan origin (dishes, drinking, pouring and storage vessels, mortars, amphorae, etc.). Depending on the context, meals were prepared for the living, the dead and the deities, and the same ceramic categories were used in sanctuaries. Sacrifices are eaten and drunk in sanctuaries and, in the case of theoxenias, the gods even take part in the feast “as if they were men”. Beyond an apparent similarity interpreted through the filter of the Greco-Etruscan symposion model, the question arises as to the reality and diversity of rites in different archaeological contexts (habitat/funerary/sanctuary) and cultural domains (Etruscan/Greek/Gallic).

An innovative approach combining the techno-functional study of artefacts with biochemical and proteomic analyses of their contents, will reveal the specificities of rites from one region to another and from one type of context to another. 8 contexts in Italy, Spain and France have been selected: 1) Tarquinia, Civita monumental complex; 2) Pyrgi, port sanctuary; 3) Gravisca, port sanctuary; 4) Aléria, monumental chamber tombs of Mattonata and Arboratelle-Casabianda ; 5) Marseille, banquet halls at Place des Pistoles and Collège du Vieux-Port; 6) La Monédière, votive pit with remains of a collective banquet; 7) Lattes and La Courgoulude, votive pits with remains of collective banquets; 8) Ampurias, port sanctuary. Within each of these contexts, around 25 ceramic, stone and metal artifacts will be studied in connection with the preparation or performance of collective rituals: mortars, braziers, kernoi plastic vases, miniature vases, culinary ceramics, transport vases, storage, mixing, serving and drinking vases, and ritually mutilated or broken vases. Nearly 200 artefacts will thus be the subject of a functional study including tracing and volumetry coupled with molecular (GC-MS) and proteomic analyses.

The first objective of this program is to identify biological products that do not usually leave visible traces, those of plant origin (wine, beer, mead, plant resins and tars, cereals and aromatic plants) and those of animal origin (animal fats, bile, dairy products, beehive products). The second objective, based on the results of the content analyses coupled with a techno-ceramic study of the containers, is to establish a functional typology of ceramics at the scale of each site studied, in order to characterize the functions of ceramics used during banqueting rituals. The third objective, thanks to a comparative approach integrating all the data from archaeological excavations, content analyses and techno-ceramic studies, is to define the consumption practices common to all the sites and the three cultures, and to highlight the differences revealing diversified cultural practices and references.

Our New book

Manger, boire, se parfumer pour l’éternité. Rituels alimentaires et odorants en Italie et en Gaule du IXe siècle avant au Ier siècle après J.-C.

Eating, drinking, perfuming for eternity. Food and scent rituals in Italy and Gaul from the 9th century BC to the 1st century AD

Biological products related to food, libations, fumigations, care and beauty of the body play a considerable role in the life of the ancient Mediterranean peoples and also have their place in the different stages of funeral rituals, from the preparation of the body to the visit to the tomb.
As perishable products, they leave little archaeological evidence in the form of faunal and plant remains and ceramic, metal or glass containers.
This collective work, rich in the collaboration of some fifty French, Italian and Swiss archaeologists, is the publication of the MAGI programme, financed by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR).
Thanks to the association of three mixed public research units and a private laboratory, the programme implemented a transdisciplinary approach combining organic chemistry and archaeobotany for four years, from 2013 to 2017, to identify materials and biological products in funerary contexts in Gaul, peninsular Italy and Sardinia, from the end of the Bronze Age to the beginning of the Roman period, and to determine their ritual uses.

Below, the introduction, summary and abstracts in French/Italian and in English.

forthcoming publication

Ideas across times. Cultural Interaction in the Central-western Mediterranean sea from VII century  
BCE to the Late Roman Age

The publication of this session of the 26th Virtual Annual Meeting of the  European Association of Archaeologists  is approaching.

The session : Contemporary society daily compares with communications’ and interactions’ problems among different cultures and peoples. In this regard, the study of the dynamics of reception of ideas and objects, acquired in different contexts other than those in which they have been developed and produced, could be very interesting. Although according to different historical perspectives, the ancient world has tackled similar issues. Particularly, from the VII century BCE to the Late Roman Age, Mediterranean Sea becomes the setting of encounters and clashes, like commercial exchanges and wars, among the Phoenicians, Punics, Etruscans, Romans and the other societies that came into contacts with them. For example, in the central-western Mediterranean Sea in which these cultural systems settled, it is possible to analyze one of the most important issue of the so-called “archeology of interactions”, that is how foreign artistic languages and system of values, material culture and technological knowledge have been transmitted and received by the native populations. This research session intends to propose a study of the archaeological data through which it is possible to identify the constitutive elements of the cultural phenomena just described. Therefore, from a methodological point of view, the aim of the session is to analyze, in a comparative way, the connections between use and function of material culture. More specifically, it intends to investigate the mechanisms of reception and perception through which the objects, in their dual role of material goods and cultural indicators, including for example foods and cosmetics substances traded, communicate ideas and images.

The proceedings will appear in a special issue of the on-line scientific journal : Layers. Archeologia Territorio Contesti, edited by the University of Cagliari (Department of Letters, Languages and Cultural Heritage). Layers is a peer-reviewed open access journal which focuses on  archaeological research into the Landscape Archaeology and many others archaeological themes.

The Session Organizers :
Carla Del Vais, Marco Giuman, Ciro Parodo, Gianna De Luca (Università di Cagliari – Italy), Dominique Frère (Université Bretagne-Sud – France)

A new publication about the archaeology of alcoholic beverages

The INRAP magazine “Archéopages” published this month a thematic issue in regard with the alcools in France from the Bronze age to the Second World War.

The summary, with 12 articles and a debate :

Précocité d’une pratique funéraire ?  Du vin dans une incinération de l’âge du Bronze final à Saint-Dizier
Rachel Bernard, Nicolas Garnier, Arnaud Lefebvre

Du vin en Bretagne dès le premier âge du Fer ? Fabrication et consommation locales 
Anne-Françoise Cherel, Dominique Frère

Un vase-filtre pour le vin ?
Anne-Françoise Cherel, Dominique Frère

La bière à la Protohistoire. L’exemple des grands contenants champenois 
Marion Saurel

Le vin et le pouvoir. La tombe princière de Lavau (Ve  siècle avant notre ère) 
Bastien Dubuis, Nicolas Garnier, Delphine Barbier-Pain, Dominique Frère, David Josset, Émilie Millet

Le vin dans les pratiques funéraires. Enquête pluridisciplinaire sur des ensembles de la Celtique méditerranéenne 
Pierre Séjalon, Valérie Bel, Nicolas Garnier

Aqua vitae et aqua ardens. Production et consommation des produits distillés de boissons fermentées (XIIe -XVIIe  siècle) 
Nicolas Thomas

De l’eau et du malt Brasseries et consommation de bières dans quelques villes médiévales du nord de la France 
Lise Saussus

L’alcool à Lyon et dans sa région au début du XXe siècle. Les enseignements d’un dépotoir Stéphane Brouillaud, Alban Horry

La guerre et la consommation d’alcool. Vestiges archéologiques de la première guerre mondiale 
Yves Desfossés

Les bonbonnes SRD dans la Grande Guerre 
Yves Desfossés, Alain Jacques

La guerre et la consommation d’alcool. Vestiges archéologiques de la seconde guerre mondiale
Vincent Carpentier avec la collaboration de Vincent Tessier

« Débat » : Ivresse ou ivrognerie ? 
Fanette Laubenheimer, Stéphane Le Bras

3 contributions are linked to the research program “Magi”

Du vin en Bretagne dès le premier âge du Fer ? Fabrication et consommation locales 
Anne-Françoise Cherel, Dominique Frère

Le vin et le pouvoir. La tombe princière de Lavau (Ve  siècle avant notre ère) 
Bastien Dubuis, Nicolas Garnier, Delphine Barbier-Pain, Dominique Frère, David Josset, Émilie Millet

Le vin dans les pratiques funéraires. Enquête pluridisciplinaire sur des ensembles de la Celtique méditerranéenne 
Pierre Séjalon, Valérie Bel, Nicolas Garnier

proposal for a Marie Curie Fellowship

https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/508118

Université Bretagne Sud  (UBS) is looking for excellent postdoctoral researchers from outside France for building together innovative aplications for independant research fellowships through the mobility programme Marie-Sklodowska Curie Actions – European Fellowshipsto the next call (09 September 2020). MSCA-EF are prestigious fellowships funded by the European Commission.

They offer a rare opportunity to talented scientists: the chance to set up research programmes of their own. They provide an attractive grant for 1 to 2 years including salaries (around 2500€ net per month, with social care included) and allowances for mobility, family and research.

The deadline of submission to the European commission is on 09th September 2020; details on the call for proposal MSCA-EF webpage (the date may be subject to changes due to the current COVID-19 situation)

The topic and team below have been identified for welcoming you to develop your research project at UBS and helping you to write a persuasive proposal for the European submission in September.

General description of the project:

Keywords: History and archaeology, Feeding-bottles, children alimentation and care, medicine, tombs

Project context:

Among the rich variety and typology of ceramics, the particular category of the « feeding bottles » generates a whole lot of issues concerning its functions and its origins. There is an increase of production of these vases in the Gallish provinces of the Roman empire. Thanks to biochemical analyses, our recent researchs have shown that the Gallo-Roman bottles were used as therapeutic dispenser, as well as to administrate a drink to children. While the medical texts of the Roman period confirm an alimentary and therapeutic use of the vases, none of them explain the motivation that drove to deposit the « feeding bottles » in tombs or in sanctuaries. The fact that the spout vases are predominant in children’s tombs, not only in the Gallo-Roman world but already in the Western Mediterranean area (Greeks, Etruscans, Italics and Romans, Phoenician and Punics, Celts), during the very rich period in terms of intercultural exchanges (4th- 2nd c. B.C.), let believe in a “longue durée” of the practices.

Methodology:

• Archaeology, study of each archaeological context

• Ceramology, technical approach (traceological and functional studies)

• Bioarchaeology, interpretations of biochemical and botanical analyses

• Cartography and 3D surveys of each object inside the contexts

• Database of feeding bottles and associated rituals

Scientific objectives:

The twofold objectives are (1) to have a better understanding of the cultural interactions in the Northwestern Mediterranean in the alimentary and therapeutic fields, (2) the knowledge of the European (Celtic) or Mediterranean origins (Punic, Greek, Etruscan) of the adoption, by the Gallo-Romans, of the feeding bottles.

This subject lies at the frontiers of therapeutic and alimentary practices, the frontiers of Celtic, Etruscan, Punic and Greek Mediterranean cultures, but concerns also the complex cultural interactions in the domain of ritual gestures.

Career Objectives:

-Innovative and specific know-how with new perspectives in terms of skills.

Supervisor: 

Dominique Frère

Academic position

Member of the CNRS laboratory TEMOS (Temps, mondes, sociétés, UMR 9016), with a research focus on the biological products (Lorient: http://temos.cnrs.fr).

Professor of Archaeology and Ancient History of Europe and Mediterranean. Main topics: archaeology of food; history and archaeology of maritime trade; history and archaeology of ancient western Mediterranean; European protohistory; Greek, Roman and Etruscan iconography.

Scientific profile

As an archaeologist, I have participated, from 1991 to 2008, in several archaeological excavations, mostly in France and Italy (Tuscany, Latium, Campania, Sardinia) but also in Libya and Armenia.

As a specialist of bioarchaeological researches, I have been organising, since 2008, many archaeological missions in France and Italy for the study and analysis of archaeological artefacts.

As a specialist of the Greek and Etruscan ceramics, I have been carrying out, since 1995, material studies and publications in many French and Italian museums and archaeological excavations.

As a historian, I have been studying, since 1995, iconographic, textual and archaeological evidence about the Greek and Etruscan perfume and perfumed rituals.

References:

• D. Frère, E. Dodinet, N. Garnier, D. Barbier-Pain, “Biological exchanges in protohistoric Gaul: the case of the princely grave of Lavau”, UISPP Journal, 2020, in press

• D. Frère, L. Hugot, N. Garnier, “La Chambre des Chenets de Cerveteri. Les rituels parfumés d’après les analyses chimiques de contenus”. In Naso A., & Botto M., (Eds.), Caere orientalizzante. Nuove ricerche su città e necropoli, CNR-Musée du Louvre: Rome, 367-387.

• D. Frère & N. Garnier “Dairy Product and Wine in Funerary Rituals: The Case of a Hellenistic Etruscan Tomb”, Journal of Historical Archaeology & Anthropological Sciences, 1, 6, 222-227 (DOI: 10.15406/jhaas.2017.01.00034).

Web page:bioarchaeo.hypotheses.org

Ideas across times. Cultural interactions in the central-western Mediterranean Sea from VII century BCE to the Late Roman Age

We have organized a session to the symposium of the European Association of Archaeologists of Budapest, (august 2020).

Contemporary society daily compares with communications’ and interactions’ problems among different cultures and peoples. In this regard, the study of the dynamics of reception of ideas and objects, acquired in different contexts other than those in which they have been developed and produced, could be very interesting. Although according to different historical perspectives, the ancient world has tackled similar issues. Particularly, from the VII century BCE to the Late Roman Age, Mediterranean Sea becomes the setting of encounters and clashes, like commercial exchanges and wars, among the Phoenicians, Punics, Etruscans, Romans and the other societies that came into contacts with them. For example, in the central-western Mediterranean Sea in which these cultural systems settled, it is possible to analyze one of the most important issue of the so-called “archeology of interactions”, that is how foreign artistic languages and system of values, material culture and technological knowledge have been transmitted and received by the native populations. This research session intends to propose a study of the archaeological data through which it is possible to identify the constitutive elements of the cultural phenomena just described. Therefore, from a methodological point of view, the aim of the session is to analyze, in a comparative way, the connections between use and function of material culture. More specifically, it intends to investigate the mechanisms of reception and perception through which the objects, in their dual role of material goods and cultural indicators, including for example foods and cosmetics substances traded, communicate ideas and images.

Session Keywords: Cultural interactions, Mediterranean Sea, Trades, Punic Culture, Etruscan Culture, Roman

Session Organizers: Carla del Vais (Università di Cagliari, Italy), Dominique Frère (Université Bretagne Sud, France), Sud), Marco Giuman (Università di Cagliari, Italy); Ciro Parodo (Università di Cagliari, Italy); Gianna De Luca (Università di Cagliari, Italy).

The session is published in the online magazine Layers. Archeologia Territory Contesti.

New Article

Celtic consumption practices

Chemical analyses of ceramics from Vix-Mont Lassois

New insights into Early Celtic consumption practices: Organic residue analyses of local and imported pottery from Vix-Mont Lassois

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0218001

Abstract:

The rich Mediterranean imports found in Early Celtic princely sites (7th-5th cent. BC) in Southwestern Germany, Switzerland and Eastern France have long been the focus of archaeological and public interest. Consumption practices, particularly in the context of feasting, played a major role in Early Celtic life and imported ceramic vessels have consequently been interpreted as an attempt by the elite to imitate Mediterranean wine feasting. Here we present the first scientific study carried out to elucidate the use of Mediterranean imports in Early Celtic Central Europe and their local ceramic counterparts through organic residue analyses of 99 vessels from Vix-Mont Lassois, a key Early Celtic site. In the Mediterranean imports we identified imported plant oils and grape wine, and evidence points towards appropriation of these foreign vessels. Both Greek and local wares served for drinking grape wine and other plant-based fermented beverage(s). A wide variety of animal and plant by-products (e.g. fats, oils, waxes, resin) were also identified. Using an integrative approach, we show the importance of beehive products, millet and bacteriohopanoid beverage(s) in Early Celtic drinking practices. We highlight activities related to biomaterial transformation and show intra-site and status-related differences in consumption practices and/or beverage processing.