This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date book on the topic. Intended for students and professionals, it describes the nature of paleonutrition studies, reviews the history of paleonutrition research, discusses methodological issues in the reconstruction of prehistoric diets, presents theoretical frameworks frequently used in paleonutrition research, and showcases examples in which paleonutritional analyses have been successfully conducted on prehistoric individuals, groups, and populations. It offers an integrative approach to understanding state-of-the-art anthropological dietary, health, and nutritional assessments. The most recent and innovative methods used to reconstruct prehistoric diets are discussed, along with the major ways in which paleonutrition data are recovered, analyzed, and interpreted.
Paleonutrition includes five contemporary case studies that provide useful models of how to conduct paleonutrition research. Topics range from ancient diets in medieval Nubia to children’s health in the prehistoric American Southwest to honey use by an ethnographic group of East African foragers. As well as providing interesting examples of applying paleonutrition techniques, these case studies illustrate the mutually beneficial linkages between ethnography and archaeology.