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Traditional foodways: Innovation, resilience and continuity in the ancient Mexican Highlands
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 101108833 Call for proposal: HORIZON-MSCA-2022-PF-01
Funded under: HE | HORIZON-AG-UN Funder Contribution: 211,755 EUR

Traditional foodways: Innovation, REsilience and ContinUity in the Ancient Mexican Highlands (TIRECUA) aims at reconstructing the diet of ancient Mesoamerican populations from the Western Mexican Highlands. Food is a highly multidimensional character which not only translates the necessity of eating but also fundamental cultural processes, subsistence practices and environmental constraints. Today, our food practices have an increasing impact on human health and on the environment, and the rediscovery of more traditional eating habits has the potential of reducing our environmental footprint, increasing global health and improving the future of food security. This research will focus on Mesoamerica, a region traditionally relying on an original and economically important set of food products but where Indigenous knowledge is seldomly recognised. TIRECUA will develop an innovative multidisciplinary approach to understand what food was consumed by whom, and how it varied through time. This EU-funded research project will set-up a state-of-the-art framework for biomolecular diet analyses including stable isotopes, palaeoproteomics and ancient DNA by combining the skills of the applicant with the host institution. The outcomes of TIRECUA are expected to be of interest to a large public by highlighting ancestral recipes, acknowledging the cultural origin of this food in the deep-time and promoting alternative, healthy and sustainable meals.

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