Faculty Research — Davide Zori

zoriDavide Zori is one of the newest additions to the BIC faculty, having just completed his first semester at Baylor. Dr. Zori’s research concentrates on the Viking expansion into the North Atlantic. He conducts archaeological fieldwork in Iceland addressing the interaction of the Norse settlers with new environments, the construction of a migrant society, and the subsequent evolution of endemic political systems. Baylor Media Communications recently highlighted Dr. Zori’s research in an article titled “Beef, Beer, and Politics.” You can read an excerpt below or go to the Media Communications website for the full story, written by Terry Goodrich.

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Vikings are stereotyped as raiders and traders, but those who settled in Iceland centuries ago spent more time producing and consuming booze and beef — in part to achieve political ambitions in an environment very different from their Scandinavian homeland, says a Baylor University archaeologist.

The seafaring warriors wanted to sustain the “big man” society of Scandinavia — a political economy in which chieftains hosted huge feasts of beer and beef served in great halls, says Davide Zori, Ph.D., a Denmark native and archeological field director in Iceland, who conducted National Science Foundation-funded research in archeology and medieval Viking literature.

But instead, what Zori and his team discovered is what happened when the Vikings spent too long living too high on the hog — or, in this case, the bovine.

“It was somewhat like the barbecue here. You wanted a big steak on the grill,” said Zori, assistant professor in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core, who co-edited the book Viking Archaeology in Iceland: Mosfell Archaelogical Project with Jesse Byock, Ph.D., professor of Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“It made it really showy — if you could keep it up.” [read the full article]

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