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Hannah Lau, Colgate Lecturer in University Studies, presents - Feeding the living, feeding the dead: Food production, land use, and placemaking in Bronze-Iron Age South Caucasus


The lives of people who herd animals are closely intertwined with the lives of the animals they herd. The herders determine when and where to take their animals to ensure they have enough food and when to sell or slaughter them. But their mobility and their time are, in turn, structured by the needs of the animals in their flocks. This close relationship has, in some cultural contexts, taken on important symbolic, as well as economic, significance. Excavations from the Middle Bronze – Early Iron Age settlement and kurgan monumental tombs at Qızqala (ca. 2000- 900 cal. BCE) in the Autonomous Republic of Naxçıvan, Azerbaijan, provide a chance to understand the relationship between people, animals, and their landscape. This talk will explore what people at the site ate, what parts of the surrounding landscape they moved through, their seasonal rhythms, and how they made a sense of place within this space. By comparing domestic and burial contexts, this study examines the relationship between foodways and ritual practices during the Middle Bronze through Early Iron Ages.

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