"Personal Post-doctoral Research Funding" project PUTJD64
PUTJD64 "Feast in afterlife: Multidisciplinary study of ritual food in conversion period cemetery at Kukruse, NE-Estonia (1.03.2015−28.02.2017)", Ester Oras, University of Tartu, Faculty of Science and Technology, Institute of Chemistry.
PUTJD64
Feast in afterlife: Multidisciplinary study of ritual food in conversion period cemetery at Kukruse, NE-Estonia
Feast in afterlife: Multidisciplinary study of ritual food in conversion period cemetery at Kukruse, NE-Estonia
1.03.2015
28.02.2017
R&D project
Personal Post-doctoral Research Funding
Field of researchSubfieldCERCS specialtyFrascati Manual specialtyPercent
2. Culture and Society2.3. History and ArchaeologyH340 Archaeology 6.1. History (history, prehistory and history, together with auxiliary historical disciplines such as archaeology, numismatics, palaeography, genealogy, etc.)50,0
4. Natural Sciences and Engineering4.11. Chemistry and Chemical TechnologyP300 Analytical chemistry 1.3. Chemical sciences (chemistry, other allied subjects)50,0
PeriodSum
01.03.2015−28.02.201776 125,00 EUR
76 125,00 EUR

This project studies archaeological food remains in mortuary ritual contexts with multidisciplinary applications from analytical chemistry, geology and paleobotany. The study material and research questions of the project derive from archaeology. Geology contributes with soil and ceramic mineralogical analysis, incl. its influence on lipid preservation, and studying food macro and micro remains. Methods and techniques for elemental and molecular characterisation of food substances come from analytical chemistry. The aim is to establish a cohesive and comparative set of analytical protocols for studying composite food residues absorbed in pottery sherds, deposited as food-crust, and preserved in pots’ content, by identifying their macro- and micro remains, elemental and molecular composition. Project combines different analytical methods: optical and scanning electron microscopy, chromatography, spectrometry, and spectroscopy. The protocols developed will be applied to study material is from one of the richest and recently discovered Estonian conversion period (12th–13th century AD) cemetery in Kukruse (NE-Estonia) which includes 14 food vessels deposited as burial goods with the deceased. The project provides an insight into food related ritual practices of people inhabiting northern Estonia at the dawn of large-scale Northern crusades, contributing to a better understanding of cultural negotiations between the last pagan communities and newly introduced Christian culture reflected in burial rituals, concepts of afterlife, food habits and dietary conditions. On a larger scale, the project aims at testing and developing cohesive protocol of analytical methods and techniques for identifying food sources preserved in ancient soil and pottery matrices by combining and evaluating the use of complex scientific methods. Key words: Residue analysis, lipid analysis, archaeochemistry, analytical chemsitry, microscopy, spectrometry, ancient food, mortuary rituals