Recent research on food in Antiquity is based in particular on writing sources, analyses of archaeobotanical remains and organic residues and chemical analyses of human bones. Together with an iconographic analysis of reliefs and wall paintings, it is possible to obtain a relatively complete picture of the ancient cuisine. Reconstruction of food and eating habits is one of the basic aspects of the daily life.
Food is an essential element we need to survive, but it also represents a great pleasure in human life. It is no surprise that fruit, vegetables, meat and various drinks have been a favorite motif for paintings on walls from Antiquity to the present time. Wall paintings located in funerary complexes often show banquet scenes, interpreted as funeral feasts, featuring food and drink along with illustrations of contemporary serving and consuming. As is also known from the Greek, Etruscan and Roman frescoes, food combined with banquets and death symbolized a cheerful and happy afterlife. In the last few decades, numerous monumental tombs, most frequently dated to the 5th-3rd century B.C., have been discovered in the territory of Thrace. Besides the significant Greek influence on the local tomb architecture, it is also possible to observe a strong connection with the Greek and Macedonian decorative styles. The most important frescoes of the Classical and Hellenistic period are well preserved, for example, in the tombs of Kazanlak and Alexandorovo.
The proposed study is an attempt to identify specific components of the diet and the funeral feast depicted on the wall paintings of the Thracian tombs as well as to interpret them in the social and religious context.