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Jessie Feito – University of Reading

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  • Archaeology Postgraduate Students

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Jessie Feito

Detecting Regional Variation in the Roman Diet.

My research uses archaeobotanical macroremains to explore crop choices during the Roman period. Synthesising primary and secondary data from Italy and the Near East, this project investigates chronological as well as both intra- and inter-regional variations in the archaeobotanical record. Though the East has long been subject to archaeobotanical analyses, the Roman period has previously been overlooked, particularly in terms of large-scale, regional studies. In comparing the East with Italy, the centre of the Empire, this thesis aims to shed light on how the advent of the Roman Empire affected plant consumption in this hitherto understudied region. In this way, shifts in dietary practices, crop husbandry, and the greater agricultural economy can be elucidated. This project is split between the Departments of Classics and Archaeology, and is funded by the University of Reading.


About Me:

I hold a BA in Classics and Archaeology from George Washington University in Washington D.C. and a MSc (with Distinction) in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Edinburgh. My fieldwork includes several years excavating and supervising at sites in Israel, Italy, and the USA. I am currently doing archaeobotanical analysis for the Hippos-Sussita Excavations Project (Israel), Gardens of the Hesperides: The Rural Archaeology of the Loukkos Valley (Morocco) and the Casa della Regina Carolina Project at Pompeii. I have also been a sessional lecturer in the Department of Classics here at the University of Reading, teaching both Roman History and Latin.

Research Interests:

  • Archaeobotany.
  • Roman Foodways.
  • Ancient Diet.
  • Roman Archaeology.
  • Near Eastern Archaeology.

Research Groups:

Diet, Health and the Life Course




Professor Annalisa Marzano (University of Reading) 

 Dr Gundula M├╝ldner (University of Reading)

Dr Lisa Lodwick (All Souls College, University of Oxford)

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