Feast: Why Humans Share Food

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Apr 10, 2008 - Social Science - 384 pages
Is sharing food such an everyday, unremarkable occurrence? In fact, the human tendency to sit together peacefully over food is actually rather an extraordinary phenomenon, and one which many species find impossible. It is also a pheonomenon with far-reaching consequences for the global environment and human social evolution. So how did this strange and powerful behaviour come about? In Feast, Martin Jones uses the latest archaeological methods to illuminate how humans came to share food in the first place and how the human meal has developed since then. From the earliest evidence of human consumption around half a million years ago to the era of the TV dinner and the drive-through diner, this fascinating account unfolds the history of the human meal and its huge impact both on human society and the ecology of the planet.

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User Review  - 2wonderY - LibraryThing

There are a lot of writers now who take a topic like this and make it highly entertaining and informative. This is not one of them. I got through the whole thing, but it was more like dry toast than ... Read full review

Feast: why humans share food

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Why is it that humans make meals into ritual events while other animals just satisfy their hunger? To explore this question, Jones (archaeological science, Cambridge Univ.;The Molecule Hunt ) offers a ... Read full review


List of maps
List of illustrations
Illustration acknowledgements
A return to the hearth
Are we so different? How apes eat 3 In search of big game
Fire cooking and growing a brain
Naming and eating
Among strangers
Hierarchy and the food chain
Eating in order to
Far from the hearth
The stomach and the soul
A global food

Seasons of the feast

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About the author (2008)

Martin Jones is George Pitt-Rivers Professor of Archaeological Science at the University of Cambridge, and specializes in the study of the fragmentary archaeological remains of early food. In the 1990s he was Chairman of the Ancient Biomolecule Initiative that pioneered some of the most important new methods of archaeological science used in such research. His previous books include The Molecule Hunt: archaeology and the search for ancient DNA, published by Penguin.

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