Sacrificial Food

This exhibit covers foods in the Greek Archaic period (800 BC – 480 BC) that were made as sacrifices to the gods. It examines practices and stories connected to preparation and consumption of foods with religious and sacrifical significance. It employs physical objects and primary literary sources in order to access a deeper understanding of which foods were eaten in a religious context and why.

We look, first, at the concept of sacrifice: its etiology as well as the basic choices of food for sacrifice. We examine how the Greeks explained why they did what they did and what that tells us about the origins of these practices. We next look at the most commonly sacrificed food, meat. From this comes an explanation of how sacrifice was performed, where, and under what conditions, be they casual or ceremonial. Lastly, we look at liquid sacrifices--libations. This finally gives us a greater understanding of the connection sacrfiice could establish between people and gods. These items draw connections between other areas of food study and the religious experiences, ideas, and narratives that existed in the Greek world.  



Leila, Mary, and Briana