Accepted paper:

Vivre la Cuisine et la Communauté dans la Préhistoire: A Glance into the Neolithic and Metal Age Southern Vietnam


Michelle Eusebio (University of Florida)

Paper short abstract:

This paper seeks to address how cuisine and community were possibly experienced by inhabitants at four settlement sites in southern Vietnam during the Neolithic and Metal Age through technofunctional and organic residue analyses of pottery vessels to determine their use and food contents.

Paper long abstract:

Countries in Southeast Asia, such as Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines, are renowned for their rich diversity of cuisines. The unique tastes and characteristic ingredients used to prepare their food make these cuisines popular throughout the world. Yet we know almost nothing about the early development and variation of these cuisines, which potentially have their origins more than 2000 years ago. In order to evaluate the development of popular contemporary cuisines across Southeast Asia, an understanding of the emergence of their ancient foodways is required. From the past to the present, many foodway activities from food acquisition to consumption are done as a community. Present-day cultural diversity and identity revolve around cuisine, which comprises the preparation and consumption of food. Some ethnographic studies have focused on how local Southeast Asian communities utilize pottery in food preparation and distribution. However, it is not clear how food items were prepared and served in conjunction with pottery that would allow for evaluating the importance of food in maintaining and promoting identity based on shared cuisine in prehistoric Southeast Asia. To address the question of how cuisine and community engagement were possibly experienced by the people living in southern Vietnam during the Neolithic and the Metal Age (3000 BC-AD 500), this study uses a combination of social theory, technofuntional analysis, and biomolecular approaches by analyzing pottery vessels from four settlement sites for technofunctional attributes and organic residues to determine their former usage and food contents.

panel P21
Exploring the Archaeology of Everyday Living in Southeast Asia