Beyond affluence: the zooarchaeology of luxury

Ervynck, A. and Van Neer, W. and Huster-Plogmann, H. and Schibler, J.. (2003) Beyond affluence: the zooarchaeology of luxury. World archaeology, Vol. 343. pp. 428-441.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A2831726

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Luxus - Essen - Überfluss - Konsumgewohnheiten - Komplexe Gesellschaften The statement, by the eighteenth-century economist Adam Smith, that luxuries are all things that are not necessities is too simplistic an approach to be useful within the context of zooarchaeology. To start with, all animal products could be regarded as unnecessary within the human diet. Therefore, a four-part subdivision is proposed, distinguishing between foodstuffs that fulfill basic physiological needs, those that fulfill imagined needs, those that render a diet affluent and, finally, luxury foods. Optimal foraging theory further develops this subdivision by also taking into account the costs involved in obtaining the ingredients. The distinction between the affluent and the luxurious diet in particular allows us to define criteria through which luxury foods can be recognized within a zooarchaeological assemblage. At the same time, however, the constraints of such an exercise become apparent. This theoretical approach is illustrated by case studies from Roman to post-medieval Europe.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Archäozoologie (Schibler)
UniBasel Contributors:Schibler, Jörg M. and Hüster Plogmann, Heidemarie
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Routledge and Kegan Paul
Note:Also published in: Luxury Foods / Edited by Marike van der Veen. - London, 2003. - S. 428-441 -- Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:22 Mar 2012 14:31
Deposited On:22 Mar 2012 14:17

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