Last weekend saw the Thirty-Second Leeds Symposium on Food History and Traditions take place in York. Over seventy people attended the event which this year was themed around ‘Birds for the Table.’ As several staff within APS have an interest in food history it was an opportunity not to be missed, especially with topics being discussed including ‘Archaeological explorations of chickens as food in Iron-Age to Medieval Europe’ and the presence of well-known food historians Ivan Day and Peter Brears.
During the day, five speakers from a variety of UK and European Universities discussed a fascinating range of historical topics covering chickens, turkeys, swans and cygnets. Of most direct archaeological interest was Zooarchaeologist Dr Julia Best from Bournemouth University who drew from the archaeological record to demonstrate how the chicken doesn’t appear to enter Britain until the Iron Age, referencing several sites from Lincolnshire which provide some of the earliest dating evidence around the first century BC.
The food symposium is held annually in York; further details of the organisation, their committee and next year’s programme can be found on their website.