EAA Maastricht

Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


A taste of historic cookery: a reconstruction of the daily meal based on archaeobotanical material, historical sources and experimental gastronomy

In the course of the Early Modern period, the population of the Netherlands gradually increased. In addition to population growth, the Netherlands also experienced strong urbanisation. In order to enable, sustain and feed a growing urban population, both the rural and urban landscape, economy and society underwent massive changes. The food choice and alimentary practices of the population also changed markedly in this period.

Although historical and archaeological studies pay more and more attention to past food economies, our understanding of the food and alimentary practices of the common Dutch burgher is still far from complete. My project aims to fill this lacuna by investigating what the common burghers of Early Modern Dutch cities ate, how they prepared their daily meal and how they disposed of their waste.
Suitable evidence for the research of food and alimentary practices of the common Dutch burgher comes from 1) bio-archaeological material, taken from cesspits and latrines, 2) historical sources, amongst others cookbooks, probate inventory and market inventories, and 3) (experimental) gastronomy (i.e. reproducing meals based on historical recipes).

Each source has its individual merits, biases and limitations. By combining them into a singular interdisciplinary study, I expect to avoid biases and limitations. The usage of data from all three disciplines complimentarily would contribute greatly towards consolidating the knowledge on the preparation of the daily meal by common burghers in Early Modern Dutch cities.
EvenementstitelEAA Maastricht: Annual conference of the European Association of Archaeologists
Mate van erkenningInternational