Same Taste, Different Place: Looking at the Consciousness of Food Origins in the Roman World

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While an enormous variety and quantity of foodstuffs were moved around the Roman Empire, the general population may not always have reflected upon or valued knowledge regarding the origin of their foodstuffs. This article looks at the methodological challenges associated with identifying a consciousness of food origins and connectivity, particularly in the non-elite. Sensory archaeology is used to demonstrate a degree of consciousness based on the physical
experience of consumption and the mnemonic links forged between consumption, emotion, and memory. Focusing on the sensory experiences of non-native soldiers, archaeobotanical assemblages from Roman military sites in Germania inferior are used as case studies. The article concludes with a closer look at the frequently mentioned, yet not fully explored notion of a ‘taste
of home’ in the ancient world and at what point a foodstuff no longer evoked a reflection upon its place of origin.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalTheoretical Roman Archaeology Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jul 2019


  • Roman
  • Food
  • archaeobotany
  • sensory archaeology
  • connectivity
  • military

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