Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

Egypt has a recorded history which stretches back for millennia, further than classical greece. The records which survive and which throw light on Egyptian food in ancient times include written documents, wall-paintings, and reliefs in tombs. Many tomb paintings showing food production and preparation were intended to ensure a plentiful supply for the deceased in the netherworld; the service which they render to food historians thousands of years later has been a by-product of religious attitudes. All this is well explained by Darby, Ghalioungui, and Grivetti (1977) in their aptly named book Food: The Gift of Osiris. The conclusions to be drawn from this mass of evidence are well summarized in a slim volume by Hilary Wilson (1988).