In this module we will introduce some of the archaeological evidence for the development of Japanese cuisine. We will consider the foods that were available, and how these were collected and cultivated. Many discoveries are helping us understand how ingredients were processed and prepared. And new scientific techniques, such as isotope analysis of human bones, are helping us identify exactly what was eaten.
Analysing food culture
Archaeologists can investigate past food cultures by analysing the remains of the food itself such as animal bones and plant remains. They can also look at the kinds of utensils that were used in food processing, preparation, eating and drinking. These kinds of remains or artefacts are not always present on archaeological sites however. For example, highly acidic soils will eat way bone, while plant remains are usually preserved only when they have been burnt or in waterlogged soils.