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Delwen Samuel - Research interests

The archaeology of plant-based foods

Microscopy of residues: The microstructure of cereal foods preserves evidence for ancient processing methods. Ancient food ingredients can be identified by the histology and anatomy remains embedded in food stuffs.

Archaeological starch: the microstructure of starch preserves a record of how foodstuffs have been processed, and this knowledge can be applied to the analysis of ancient desiccated starch granules.

Social and economic aspects of food preparation: through the study of ancient ingredients, processing techniques and processing technologies, I have examined the economics of food preparation and associated social relations. For example [remaining current text kept]

Experimental archaeology: a detailed understanding of the archaeological record and a strong grasp of relevant ethnographic evidence underpins accurate experimental reconstruction. Carefully applied, such experiments are invaluable to cast light on aspects of food processing that would otherwise remain unknown. For example, experimental grinding with different grain hardnesses shows how different cereals fragment and these fragments can be compared to ancient cereal remains.


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