The research focus on banquet-scenes and representations of feastings in the funeral-art of Italy, Greece, Asia Minor and the Near East from the early 1st millennium BC to the Hellenistic period.

The studies carried out with international cooperation were funded by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF, project: P 20953-G02; head: P. Amann, Department of Ancient History, Papyrology and Epigraphy, University of Vienna; duration: 2009–2013).

So far two monographs have been published. The first volume (E. Rehm – C. Eder, Speisetischszenen im Alten Orient und Ägypten, AVO 17 [Münster 2016]) dealt with the evidence from northern Syria dated from the 10th to the 8th century BC, as well as with those known from Egypt from 700 BC onwards. In the second volume (T. Mitterlechner, Das Bankett. Ein Bildmotiv zwischen Diesseits und Jenseits im vorrömischen Italien [8.–2./1. Jh. v. Chr.], Phersu 2 [Vienna 2021]), the types and the semantics of banquet-scenes in Italy were explored, especially from Etruria and southern Italy under Greek influence.

The focus of the third volume, which is currently in preparation by the research group, is on the finds from the Greek motherland, the Aegean and Asia Minor. Despite the intensive social and political interaction and dependencies between these cultural landscapes, the regional approach to the banqueting motif varied largely. It was affected by specific cultural criteria, as a result of which the scenes carried partly diverging local connotations. This was evident not only with regard to formal aspects (e.g. small-scale “BIldfeldstelen” versus monumental tombs), but is also reflected in the iconography through preferences for depicting particular types of banquet, and their frequency within each region in general.

Principal Investigator

Project Partner

  • Petra Amann (Department of Ancient History, Papyrology and Epigraphy, University of Vienna)


  • Ellen Rehm (Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Vienna/Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Studies and Middle Eastern Archaeology, University of Münster)
  • Christian Eder (Münster)