our networks
tlcanimal planetscience channeldiscovery healthinvestigation discovery
site search
discovery storediscovery adventures
tlc
 
animals news

News — Animals


Ancient Romans Preferred Fast Food

small text
large text
Submit to:        

June 18, 2007 — Just as a U.S. Presidential state dinner does not reflect how most Americans eat and socialize, researchers think the formal, decadent image of wining and dining in ancient Rome mostly just applied to the elite.

According to archaeologist Penelope Allison of the University of Leicester, the majority of the population consumed food "on the run."

Allison excavated an entire neighborhood block in Pompeii, a city frozen in time after the eruption of volcano Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D.

advertisement
line

Historians often extend findings from Pompeii to other parts of Italy, particularly Rome, given the city's proximity to the Roman Empire's center.

"In many parts of the western world today, a popular belief exists that family members should sit down and dine together and, if they don't, this may represent a breakdown of the family structure, but that idea did not originate in ancient Rome," she told Discovery News.

Her claims are based both on what she did not find during the excavation, and what she did.

Allison noticed an unusual lack of tableware and formal dining or kitchen areas within the Pompeii homes. Instead she found isolated plates here and there, such as in sleeping quarters.

"Similar to how children today bring a plate of food to their rooms before watching TV or playing on the computer, my guess is that Roman youths would tote food to certain areas where they possibly engaged in other activities," she said, adding that kids might also have dined with slaves in nanny or caretaker roles.

What she did find in the homes were multiple mini barbecue-type fire boxes, suggesting that "BBQ or fondue-style dining" often took place.

Allison outlines her findings in the new Oxford University Press book, "The Insula of the Menander at Pompeii Volume III."

Stephen Dyson, one of the world's leading authorities on ancient Rome, is a professor of classics at the University of Buffalo who formerly served as the president of the Archaeological Institute of America.

      More
[ 1 . 2 ]
  next »




Get More from Discovery News:
Sat, 20 Oct 2012
Sat, 20 Oct 2012
Sat, 20 Oct 2012
Fri, 19 Oct 2012
Fri, 19 Oct 2012
Fri, 19 Oct 2012
Fri, 19 Oct 2012
Fri, 19 Oct 2012
Fri, 19 Oct 2012
Fri, 19 Oct 2012
 
send to a friend  printer friendly version
rss subscribe  podcast subscribe
Ancient BBQ

Ancient BBQ


broadband news

Get Video:

Related News:


Main — Archive

Pictures: DCI | Penelope Allison |
Source: Discovery News
Editor: Discovery News

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTERS

Discovery Channel | TLC | Animal Planet | Discovery Health | Science Channel | Planet Green
Discovery Kids | Military Channel | Discovery News | Investigation Discovery | HD Theater | Turbo | FitTV

HowStuffWorks | TreeHugger | Petfinder | PetVideo | Discovery Education

Visit the Discovery Store: Toys & Games | Telescopes | DVD Sets | Planet Earth DVD | Gift Ideas

By visiting this site, you agree to the terms and conditions
of our Visitor Agreement. Please read. Privacy Policy.
ATTENTION! We recently updated our privacy policy. The changes are effective as of September 10, 2008.
To see the new policy, click here. Questions? See the policy for the contact information.

Copyright © 2012 Discovery Communications, LLC.

The leading global real-world media and entertainment company.