A Taste of the Ancient World

an exhibit about Greco-Roman eating and drinking, farming and starving presented by undergraduates in

Classical Civilization 452: Food in the Ancient World

The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology
October 24th, 1996 - July 21st, 1997


In our own society, there is no escaping the significance of food. Food and drink keep us alive. They feed our imagination and stimulate our senses. They communicate beliefs. They distinguish rich from poor. They are a blessing that can sometimes become a curse.

Each of these statements would have been equally true in the ancient Mediterranean world. This exhibit has been designed by undergraduate students to provide just a 'taste' of the complexities of Greco-Roman food production and consumption.

Many - but by no means all! - of the 'food-related' objects in the holdings of the Kelsey Museum are physically on display. This electronic exhibit is designed to showcase items that are kept in storage, and to expand the range of artifacts we can study to explore the significance of food in the ancient world.

This exhibit is divided into two parts: Feeding Karanis and More Food for Thought.


Feeding Karanis

  • Farming and Processing
    Olive Oil
  • Storage and Cooking
  • Serving and Eating
  • More Food for Thought

  • Pharonic Egypt
  • The Greco-Roman Mediterranean
    Fishy Matters
    The Roman Food Industry
    Images on Coins
    Religion and Death

  • The text and images in The Kelsey On-Line are for the personal use of students, scholars, and the public. All images are subject to international copyright laws. Any commercial use or publication of text or images is strictly prohibited.

    Feeding Karanis

     More Food for Thought

    Exhibit Acknowledgements


     Kelsey Museum Homepage


    Last updated September 10, 1997 by Melanie D. Grunow. Comments and questions about this website may also be directed to Professor Sue Alcock.