Groß, Melanie: Food and drink for the palace: the management of foodstuffs in Neo-Assyrian times and beyond. Version 00
To be published in SAAB 20.
Abstract: This paper examines the organisation of the food supply for the Neo-Assyrian palace households. A primary concern of the palace administration was to cover the food requirements of its residents, visitors and personnel. Due to the size and complexity especially of the main palace but also of the other palaces in the imperial centre, this required specific functionaries who were concerned with the different stages of food management, namely procurement, storage, distribution and processing. Specialist officials were employed to deal with different categories of foodstuffs, whether grain products, meat, wine and the like. For example, from the everyday documents we learn of figures such as the chief cook (concerned with domestic animals and the meat supply), the wine master and the fruit master. The results of an examination of these officials active in the Neo-Assyrian period are then compared with what is known about food management in the Middle Assyrian period.