Prof. Dr. ir. Frits Heinrich
Professor Dr. ir. Frits Heinrich serves as a BrIAS Program Director.
Frits is Assistant Professor of Ancient History, Agricultural History and Food History at the research groups Social and Cultural Food Studies (FOST) and Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO) at VUB. He is an ancient agricultural and food historian as well as an ethnoarchaeobotanist. His primary interests are in the biochemical and nutritional properties of ancient and traditional crops and foodstuffs, traditional food preparation processes and premodern agricultural economics. While his focus is on the Roman world, he is also interested in much longer term agricultural developments in Egypt and Sudan.
Frits is the Assistant Director of the Excellence of Science (EOS) funded project Agriculture, diet and nutrition in Greco-Roman Egypt. Reassessing ancient sustenance, food processing and (mal)nutrition (AGROS) which he designed. Previously he was the postdoctoral fellow on the FWO-funded project Rethinking Roman Nutrition. Assessing the nutritional biochemistry and stable isotope chemistry of archaeobotanical cereals and pulses from Roman Egypt, also a project which he instigated and which provided the first empirical data on the nutritional properties of ancient crops.
Frits also conducts (ethno)archaeobotanical fieldwork in Egypt, Sudan and Jordan and carries out historical farming experiments in the Netherlands.
Keywords: Ancient history / Agricultural history / Food history / Archaeobotany / Nutritional biochemistry and biotechnology