The purpose of this paper is to discuss some aspects of the origin and development of dietary regulations in Mesopotamia. The sources at our disposal bear witness to an intentional use of food and drink in medical and religious context as vehicles of sustenance and symbols used to express affiliation to a closed social group. Regulations were temporary, concerned a specific social group or individual, were effective at a particular time of the year, and sometimes affected the technique of preparation of food. Their reasons were different: among others, purity issues, self-imposed sobriety connected with ethical values, medical concerns.
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