Executive Summary

The purpose of this project is to organise a day of workshops focused on the topic of food in the ancient world. This will consist of two three-hour Roman food workshops (led by Sally Grainger) which will provide students with a hands-on experience of reconstructing ancient recipes. In this way students will learn about the ingredients, tools and techniques which went into constructing a Roman banquet. Further, students will begin to think about how we can reconstruct the ancient dining experience and what evidence we must draw upon to do this. In between these two workshops there will be an informal lunch time seminar. For this two leading archaeobotanists Dr Kelly Reed (now head of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Food, previously Warwick Food GRP) and Dr Lisa Lodwick (All Souls, Oxford University) will present on the scientific techniques and processes which go into identifying and understanding diets in the past. This presentation will then be followed by a short panel discussion with Sally Grainger and an opportunity for questions.

This day will have three significant pedagogic impacts: firstly, through a hands-on workshop, the students will work as researchers for the day, allowing them to direct their own learning. Secondly, they will gain the opportunity to participate in an academic style research seminar and to interact with world leading researchers on food science and history. Third, students will have the opportunity to interact with scholars and students from a wide range of disciplines and areas of specialism thus encouraging interdisciplinary discussion and debate.

To fund this workshop and to pay for speaker’s travel costs we require a grant of £1,000 from IATL. This workshop will take place in the first half of term two. The practical workshops will consist of two workshops of twenty students each (forty participants in total). Of this number, thirty students will come from Classics and Ancient History and a further ten students from other departments working on food related topics. The seminar will be attended by all students participating in the food workshops but will also be open to a broader audience across the University, thus providing a typical academic seminar experience. We will arrange to create a short video of some of the techniques demonstrated as part of the practical workshop and will film the seminar talk and panel discussion. These videos will then be uploaded onto the department website informing later students about food in the ancient world.