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Daily Life in the Shadow of Empire: A Food Systems Approach to the Archaeology of the Ottoman Empire

"This communication is an outgrowth of archaeological research on the Ottoman period in Central Transjordan carried out over the past three decades by members of the Madaba Plains Project. A consistent goal of this project has been to advance understanding of all historical periods encountered in materials uncovered by regional surveys and excavations undertaken by the team. To this end a methodological approach has been adopted which gives priority to investigation of the inputs to, operation of, and outputs from, the local food system. As this is a research problem which is equally applicable to all historical periods, it has led to concern also with the Ottoman period. My goal in this communication is to lay open for criticism and discussion some thoughts about possible future directions for research on the Ottoman period which flow from this concern with understanding the dynamics of local food systems. I see three interrelated lines of inquiry in this regard: First, to ascertain the influence of Ottoman policies and imperial agents on the operation of particular local food systems. Second, to examine the response of the indigenous population to such policies and agents. And third, to investigate the ways in which local ecosystems influenced, and were influenced by, peoples'' food-getting activates throughout the Ottoman period. Of course, these objectives should be pursued with as much chronological specificity as is at all feasible."

Author(s):  LaBianca, Oystein S
Format:  Presentation
Source:  Conference on Ottoman Archaeology , "Breaking New Ground for an Archaeology of the Ottoman Empire: A Prologue and A Dialogue" , University of New York at Binghamton, Uzi Baram, Organizer, April 1996