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Were Luxury Foods the First Domesticates? Ethnoarchaeological Perspectives from Southeast Asia

Brian Hayden
World Archaeology
Vol. 34, No. 3, Luxury Foods (Feb., 2003), pp. 458-469
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3560197
Page Count: 12
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Were Luxury Foods the First Domesticates? Ethnoarchaeological Perspectives from Southeast Asia
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Abstract

There are important reasons for considering the first domesticated plants and animals as luxury foods primarily used in feasting. Using Southeast Asian tribal society as a case study, it is demon-strated that all the domesticated animals and the most important of the domesticated plants constitute forms of wealth that are primarily or exclusively used in feasting contexts. In addition, numerous studies have demonstrated that feasting generates powerful forces that intensify and increase resource production of luxury foods as well as staples. Such forces ultimately can lead to the domestication of wild species and the transformation of luxury foods into staple foods.

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