The University Record, November 12, 1996

Kelsey exhibition focuses on food in ancient times

Food for the living, food for the deceased---the current exhibition at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology covers it all. From grain mummy to the god of wine and ecstasy, "A Taste of the Ancient World" contains artifacts ranging from a winnowing fork and grain scoop to a drinking cup used at a Greek drinking party from which a youth would gradually emerge at the cup's bottom, crushing grapes before the drinker's very eyes.

A part of the University's theme semester, "Food in Global History," the Kelsey exhibition will continue through Dec. 24.

photos of pots and vesselsThe dietary habits and agricultural activities of ancient Karanis are demonstrated through plant remains of wheat and lentils in the exhibit. Dry conditions helped preserve these fragile specimens and their survival helped researchers reconstruct life in Karanis as it existed more than 1,500 years ago. A sieve made of palm leafs and sticks as well as a mortar and pestle and household vessels for storing liquids are included in the exhibition, as are flasks and glasses and amphorae used to transport wine and olive oil. A carved relief, intended to provide food to the deceased for eternity, contains text that reads as a passage invoking this "food" for the deceased soul and the blessings of the gods upon it.