Saturday, February 22, 2020

Review of Mylona & Nicholson (eds.), The Bountiful Sea

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: D. Mylona, R. Nicholson (ed.), The Bountiful Sea: Fish Processing and Consumption in Mediterranean Antiquity. Proceedings of the International Conference Held at Oxford, 6-8 September 2017. Journal of Maritime Archaeology Special Issue, 13.3. New York: Springer, 2018. Pp. 290. ISBN 1557-2293. Reviewed by Christy Constantakopoulou, Birkbeck College, London (
Recent years have shown that fish and fishing in the ancient Mediterranean are an exciting new research field,1 to which the present volume is a splendid contribution. Originating from a conference in Oxford in September 2017, the volume brings together a diverse range of scholars, ancient historians and archaeologists, including ichthyoarchaeologists, but also marine biologists and historians of food, to address a number of important questions. It is impossible in a short review to discuss each contribution individually, so I shall focus on themes and approaches.

The editors identify three themes in their introduction (p. 210): fish and fish products in their cultural context; archaeological evidence in the western and eastern Mediterranean; and the logistical and social organization of production of processed fish and associated materials, particularly salt. Most contributions address one or more of these themes, although other threads also run throughout the volume.

The article by Susan Weingarten deals with fish and fish products in the Talmudic literature.

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