The Medieval Diet in Genova (N-W Italy) through the analysis of faunal remains from archaeological sites

The Medieval Diet in Genova (N-W Italy) through the analysis of faunal remains from archaeological sites

By D. Cesana et al.

Medieval Europe Paris 2007, 4th International Congress of Medieval and Modern Archaeology (2007)

Introduction: The analysis of the faunal remains deriving from archaeological excavations in the urban centre of Genova (N – W Italy) provides a significant contribution to the study of medieval eating habits in the city and, more in general, to the economical history of the relationships between the city (urban sites) and the territory (extra-urban sites) in the Ligurian region. As a matter of fact, archaeozoological studies make it possible to highlight the differences strictly connected with the diet including the consumption of animal food.

Although this field of research is still being analysed, this presentation aims at providing a preliminary synthesis on the status of archaeozoological research in the last 30 years, assessing both already conducted and published studies and more recent analyses on still unpublished material (Cesana 2006, Cesana et al. 2007).

Only the sites located in the present territory of the city of Genova were considered were considered. We analysed different contexts, such as a castle settlement (Molassana), a bishop’s house (San Silvestro), a cloister (Sant’Agostino) and residences of emerging Genoese families, the Embriaci’s (Santa Maria delle Grazie), the Fieschi’s and the Doria’s, (Palazzo Ducale and via Ginevra). This variety of contexts allows to locate, within the city, areas with different food habits and consumptions belonging to the same period, thus highlighting distinct topographical and socioeconomical areas in the same town. Moreover, from the comparison between urban sites and peripheral or extra-urban sites, eating habits change not only according to these factors but also based on the surrounding environment, that is the characteristics of the territory and availability of resources.

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