Between Inclusion and Exclusion: Feasting and Redistribution of Meals at Late Chalcolithic Arslantepe (Malatya, Turkey)
The redistribution of meals and feasting practices in the early centralized society of Arslantepe VI A in south-eastern Anatolia (Late Chalcolithic 5 – 3300/3000 cal. BCE) are presented in this paper as examples of commensal politics. Within the framework of Mesopotamian early state formation, this period represents a stimulating case because of the evidence of economic centralization, the significant amount of materials found in in situ contexts, and the presence of functionally distinct architecture. Food and beverages were the economic base of the power of elites; yet it is not only through feasting activities that food enters Late Chalcolithic gastro-politics, but also through the meals disbursed in exchange for labor.
Near Eastern Archaeology; Late Chalcolithic; Arslantepe; State Formation; Commensal Politics; Redistribution of Meals; Feasting