How was food preserved in antiquity?

California Expo in Viterbo Planned with FoodStore Project

NewTuscia – VITERBO – The FoodStore Project (Food storage at the end of the 5th, 4th and 3rd millennia BC. AD in the Northern Fertile Crescent), is an ambitious research project with funding of over €260,000.00 under the Marie Sklodowska – Curie Actions, calls to support the training and development of skills and the career of researchers within the Horizon Framework Program Europe.

The promoter, Dr Valentina Tumolo, currently holds a postdoctoral position in the Department of Archeology at Durham University (Durham, UK) and has chosen Unitus as the host institution.

The research project which will involve Professors Gian Maria Di Nocera from the Department of Humanities, Communication and Tourism, and Ulderico Santamaria from the Department of Economics, Engineering, Society and Business, will be carried out in close collaboration with international experts such as Lisa Maher , Regents of the University of California and Carla Lancelotti of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, ​​Spain.

The initiative of the project transports us to the “Fertile Crescent”, this territory now shared between northern Syria, southern Turkey and northern Iraq, during the period between the fifth and third millennium before our era, and explores ways of preserving food. History teaches us that it was in these regions that the first complex societies were born, which later led to the birth of the first real states. During this training process, the conservation of foodstuffs was a fundamental step. The research will explore conservation structures recently identified during major archaeological excavations. The revalorization of traditional food preservation techniques in rural areas aims to improve food availability, in terms of food quantity and quality, by offering economical and sustainable methods to reduce the risks associated with the deterioration of foodstuffs.

The results of the research project will be disseminated through academic communication channels and will be presented in a traveling exhibition, with explanatory panels and presentations, set up at the University of California, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and at our university, with the participation of primary and secondary school students in Viterbo and surrounding areas. The exhibition intends to involve local communities in order to raise their awareness of increasingly topical issues. First, sustainability and food security and, second, the transmission of the importance of the conservation of cultural heritage, especially that related to the use of traditional methods.

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