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Ancient Food & Flavor

Included with General Admission
Upper Level

New exhibition opening June 3, 2023

Vessel in the shape of a fruit from the Pachacamac site in Peru.
Vessel in the shape of a gourd from the Pachacamac site in Peru. 31125

What can burned seeds, dried meats, or waterlogged
fruits, remarkably preserved for thousands
of years, tell us about the past?

Food remains are tiny treasure troves of data that reveal information about people’s decisions, diets, activities, and traditions. Archaeologists study these ancient remains to reconstruct the landscapes that produced them, revealing untold histories and forging connections to the past.

Find out what archaeologists have learned about what ancient people were growing, eating, and drinking, based on evidence left behind at three sites:

Prehistoric harpoon point.

Prehistoric harpoon point from present-day Switzerland. 65-25-79


Waterlogged houses and surfaces at this 6,000-year-old site in present-day Switzerland revealed fishing tools, food remains, and more.

A terracotta bowl.

A Bronze-age bowl from a site in present-day Jordan. 2007-10-9


This 4,500-year-old community in present-day Jordan contained carbonized plant material that suggests wine production and grain storage.

Four small potatoes.

Potatoes from the site of Pachacamac, present-day Peru. 31187


The desert landscape of this 1,800-year-old city in present-day Peru preserved corn, potatoes, cloth, basketry, and wood.

The exhibition is curated by Katherine Moore, Ph.D., and Chantel White, Ph.D., Teaching Specialists in the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials.