Gallic, Etruscan, Phocaeans Rites of Commensality

ANR Program 2023-2027

The presentation

The program seeks to identify the different forms of banqueting between the Greek Phocaean, Etruscan and Gallic worlds, with a characterization of food, eating and drinking practices between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. Functional analyses combined with biochemical content analyses (ORA) and archaeobotanical studies will be carried out on more than 200 artefacts found in banquet contexts in 8 sites in the north-western Mediterranean.

The goals

  • The first objective of this program is to identify organic 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

The methods

The first objective will be achieved by a transdisciplinary proxibiotic approach combining organic chemistry, proteomics and the study of pollens and NPP (Non-Pollen Palynomorphs).

Some 200 ceramics and other stone and metal artefacts discovered in banqueting contexts will be analyzed.

To achieve the 3 objectives, 5 tasks have been defined:

  • Task 1 – Sampling missions, technical study of archaeological material;
  • Task 2 – Chemical and proteomic analyses, archaeobotanical and NPP studies;
  • Task 3 : Data management, interpretation and synthesis of results;
  • Task 4 : Comparative approach between sites;
  • Task 5 : Scientific and cultural dissemination.

The sites

  • 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. 

The laboratories

  • Temos (Temps, Mondes, Sociétés), UMR 9016. Team leader for GEPRiCo: Dominique Frère.
  • AOrOc (Archéologie et philologie d’Orient et d’Occident), UMR 8546. Team leader : Vincent Jolivet.
  • ASM (Archéologie des Sociétés Méditerranéennes), UMR 5140. Team leader : Eric Gailledrat.
  • CCJ (Centre Camille Jullian), UMR 7299. Team leader : Federica Sacchetti.
  • Halma (Histoire, archéologie et littérature des mondes anciens), UMR 8164). Team leader : Sandrine Huber.

Scientific events

The next scientific event will be a symposium on the theme of “Miniature vases in context“. It will take place at the University of Lille in September 2024. A call for papers will be issued shortly.

Foodstuffs, Dairy products, Fermented beverages, Medicinal and Cosmetic products, Perfumes, Aromatic materials in the Mediterranean and West-European areas. This scientific notebook presents the bioarchaeology research programs of the Temos laboratory (CNRS, UMR 9016).

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