University of Leicester
Family Meals (final manuscript for LRA deposit).docx.pdf (158.18 kB)
Download file

"Family" meals? Who ate where, and with whom, in early imperial military bases?

Download (158.18 kB)
conference contribution
posted on 2015-08-20, 11:00 authored by Penelope M. Allison, Martin Sterry
Given the growing evidence that support personnel, soldiers’ families and other ‘camp followers’ lived inside early imperial military bases is it any longer valid to consider that soldiers ate together in their contubernia? And where was food prepared and cooked in officers’ households and by whom? Who frequented the taverns inside these military bases and why? Were meals prepared and eaten inside administrative buildings? This paper will discuss approaches to artefact distribution to develop better understandings of how, where and under what conditions food was prepared and consumed within spaces. At Limes XIX Maureen Carroll discussed ‘The preparation and consumption of food as a contributing factor towards communal identity in the Roman army’ (Z. Visy (ed.), Limes XIX, 363-372, 2005) and emphasised the importance of relationships surrounding food consumption. My paper at that congress included observations on the distribution of ceramics within and between some of the buildings at Vetera I (Limes XIX, 833-846) towards investigating where these activities were most likely to have been carried out. This paper will attempt to take further my approaches to artefact distribution for understanding the place and roles of non-service personnel and especially soldiers’ families, inside Roman military bases, focussing on artefacts related to the preparation and consumption of food and drink. As a preliminary investigation it will examine how the types of material culture associated with food preparation and consumption, their associations and their distributions within a selection of military bases can be analysed towards answering these questions.



Proceedings of the 22nd International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies, Ruse, Bulgaria, September 2012, 2015 (in press)

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF ARTS, HUMANITIES AND LAW/School of Archaeology and Ancient History


XXII International Limes (Roman Frontiers) Congress, Ruse, Bulgaria


  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Proceedings of the 22nd International Congress of Roman Frontier Studies

Copyright date


Available date



Vagalinski, L.

Temporal coverage: start date


Temporal coverage: end date




Usage metrics

    University of Leicester Publications