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Food in Medieval England Diet and Nutrition by C. M. Woolgar

Food in Medieval England Diet and Nutrition

Part of the Medieval History and Archaeology Series


Food in Medieval England Diet and Nutrition by C. M. Woolgar

Food and diet are central to understanding daily life in the middle ages. In the last two decades, the potential for the study of diet in medieval England has changed markedly: historians have addressed sources in new ways; material from a wide range of sites has been processed by zooarchaeologists and archaeobotanists; and scientific techniques, newly applied to the medieval period, are opening up possibilities for understanding the cumulative effects of diet on the skeleton. In a multi-disciplinary approach to the subject, this volume, written by leading experts in different fields, unites analysis of the historical, archaeological, and scientific record to provide an up-to-date synthesis. The volume covers the whole of the middle ages from the early Saxon period up to c .1540, and while the focus is on England wider European developments are not ignored. The first aim of the book is to establish how much more is now known about patterns of diet, nutrition, and the use of food in display and social competition; its second is to promote interchange between the methodological approaches of historians and archaeologists. The text brings together much original research, marrying historical and archaeological approaches with analysis from a range of archaeological disciplines, including archaeobotany, archaeozoology, osteoarchaeology, and isotopic studies.


there is no doubt that this book is of great value to researchers working on medieval England, but is also inspiring and pleasant literature for a broader archaeological and historical readership ... The importance of this book is undeniable and it will surely become a milestone in the medieval English literature on diet and nutrition. * Angelos Hadjikoumis, assemblage * a valuable multidisciplinary contribution to the literature on foodways, diets, and eating practices in medieval England. * Martha Carlin, The Ricardian * a comprehensive and interdisciplinary volume ... an excellent book that is set to become standard reading on the topic for many years to come. * Alan K. Outram, History * This ambitious book is successful in its aim to draw together the wide variety of information about medieval diet and nutrition... and as such represents a major achievement...anyone with an interest in diet and history should read it. * Max Satchell, LPS. * [A] very informative and useful book. * Archaeological Review from Cambridge *

About the Author

C.M. Woolgar is Reader and Head of Speical Collections at the University of Southampton Library. D. Serjeantson is Research Fellow in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Southampton. T. Waldron is Consultant Physician at St. Mary's Hospital, London, and Honorary Professor at the Institute of Archaeology at University College London.

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Book Info

Publication date

21st May 2009


C. M. Woolgar

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Oxford University Press


368 pages


Early history: c 500 to c 1450/1500
Social & cultural history
Archaeology by period / region



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