Food, and our memories of it, are often tied up with the ways in which we construct our identities. This project hopes to use this power of food to explore not only how people in the past might have used food to create their identity, but also how we might use food to explore these issues in the present. In this blog we present some of our research on food and updates of our activities and events. We are also compiling a list of books and articles about Roman food and collecting people’s memories about food – if you’d like to share a food memory with us, please tweet us or leave a comment on one of our posts!



Blog Posts

We currently have 35 blog posts about Roman food and the Food for Thought project. Here’s a handy list.


Pottery in pre-Roman Britain



Black Pepper





Pine nut


Spelt wheat

Eating food in…

Libya – Garamantes



Food production

Fish-breeding and salting

Grain milling


Vineyards in Roman Britain

Techniques for researching Roman food

Waterlogged plant remains

Food research projects

“Big data” and food in Roman Britain

Medieval Masterchef at the 2014 European Archaeological Association Conference

Roman food at the 2014 Association for Environmental Archaeology Conference

Food for Thought Project

Archaeology of food and memory

Behind the scene at the British Museum

Corinium Museum

Eating like a Roman: the 4D experience

Eating like Romans?

Food for Thought at Horatio’s Garden

Food for Thought at the East Oxford Community Classics Centre

Food for Thought Exhibition: Installation Day 1

Food for Thought Exhibition: Installation Day 2

Food for Thought Exhibition: Installation Day 3

Roman food today

Trip to the museum stores 1

Trip to the museum stores 2

‘Trimalchio’s Kitchen – Pop-up restaurant



Project Team

Dr Zena Kamash – Lecturer in Roman Archaeology and Art, Royal Holloway, University of London

I am a Roman archaeologist, who specialises in Roman Britain and the Roman Near East. My recent work as part of the ‘Memoria Romana’ project has made me think lots about the relationships between food and memory. When I had the opportunity to create a public engagement project as part of the ‘Communicating Ancient Greece and Rome’ programme  food, memory and identity seemed like the obvious places to start.

Favourite cuisine: Middle Eastern

Earliest food memory: buying sweets from the village corner shop


Dr Lisa Lodwick – Post-doc Researcher, University of Reading @LisaLodwick

I’m an archaeobotanist, studying ancient plant remains from archaeological sites. My DPhil/PhD project investigated farming and food at Silchester, one of the earliest towns in Britain. I compared the new foods and crops grown at Silchester, with farming practices and diet at rural settlements in the surrounding area. Studying how and why crops and other plant foods varied between past communities is fascinating, and also relevant for thinking about growing and eating food today.

Favourite cuisine: (modern) Italian

Earliest food memorydinosaur shaped birthday cake


Erica Rowan – DPhil student, University of Oxford

I’m a Roman archaeologist and archaeobotanist specializing in Roman food and diet. For my doctorate I looked at the food remains from a sewer (yes, a sewer) from the site of Herculaneum in Italy to find out what regular Romans were eating on a daily basis. It turns out they were eating quite a few different things; lots of fruit, fish, shellfish and grains (and not the boring monotonous diet of bread, wine and olive oil that people once thought). I think that the Romans and their diets were pretty amazing and the idea of being able to share that knowledge with other people absolutely makes my day.

Dan Stansbie – DPhil Student, EngLaID Project, University of Oxford

I am an archaeologist who specializes in the Iron Age and Roman periods of Britain, particularly in ceramics. I’m currently engaged in a DPhil (Phd) project about the long-term history of food, ceramics and identity in England from 1500BC to AD 1086 as part of the English landscapes and identities project. Like the EngLaID project of which it is part, my project is all about using the vast amounts of digital data generated by developer funded archaeology in England to find new and surprising patterns in the evidence. Before embarking on my DPhil I spent 16 years working as an archaeologist in both in the public and commercial sectors.

Favourite cuisine: Modern Britsh/Anglo-Indian

Earliest food memory: Chocolate birthday cake


Miranda Creswell – Project artist for EnglaID @MirandaCreswell

I am an artist who is interested in the landscape and how it shapes human life. I am interested in the circularity of materials that derive from landscape: amongst which are food and simple cooking utensils. I am currently developing a series of drawings on used chopping boards. The left over chopping marks of past meals, are incorporated in the drawings.

Favourite cuisine: a simple tomato Italian sauce, and chestnuts.

Earliest food memory: crunchy bread and unsalted butter, when I lived in France.

Project Partners

Corinium Museum @CoriniumMuseum

Horatio’s Garden at the Salisbury District Hospital @HoratiosGarden

Iris Project and the East Oxford Classics Community Centre @TheIrisProject

Outreach programme within the AHRC funded ‘Communicating Ancient Greece & Rome‘ programme.

2 thoughts on “About

  1. John Wilkins

    Had you thought of medical aspects of food and nutrition in antiquity? It would be really interesting to match what archaeology has found on the ground with what Celsus and Galen say about food in their texts. The texts are very detailed, and pretty coherent.


    1. zkamash2013

      Thanks, John – this is a really interesting idea and one I’d really like to pursue. Food for Thought-er Lisa looked at the potential medicinal uses of plants in her DPhil on Silchester, so I will prevail upon her to write a blog post on this theme. And, of course, if you would like to write a guest blog for us on this topic, we’d be delighted!



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