Bread was a basic food staple as well as a marker of status in medieval societies. A study of Byzantine and Islamic textual sources combined with an archaeological scientific study of teeth remains from four excavated sites in modern Turkey demonstrates that literary stereotypes about access to high-quality bread may have held in densely populated urban settlements but not in society on a wider scale. Peasants, the lowest social group, also had access to high-quality bread. In regions inhabited by diverse groups, differences in food consumption did not depend on religion or culture.

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