Professor of Classical Studies
On leave for the academic year 2022-23
Christopher Ratté is an archaeologist specializing in western Anatolia. He was educated at Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley, where he wrote a PhD dissertation on Lydian architecture. He taught at Florida State, NYU, and the University of Pennsylvania before joining the faculty of the University of Michigan in 2006. He is currently Professor of Classical Archaeology in the Departments of Classical Studies and the History of Art. He served as Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology from 2009-2013 and from 2020-2022, and as Director of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology from 2013-2017. In 2019-20, was a Whitehead Distinguished Scholar at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. He will be a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton in Winter 2023.
Ratté is the author, coauthor, or editor of five books and more than 40 articles and excavation reports on the archaeology of western Anatolia. His research focuses on the role played by the built environment, from individual monuments to regional settlement patterns, in the articulation of social and cultural identity, especially in regions on the peripheries of the Greek and Roman worlds. He participated in the excavations at Sardis from 1980 to 1992 and at Aphrodisias from 1993 to 2005. From 2005 to 2021, he directed several archaeological survey projects in the regions around Aphrodisias (2005-2009), Vani in the Republic of Georgia (2009-2012), and Notion on the western coast of Turkey (2014-2021). In 2022 (when the picture on the right was taken), he began a new excavation project at Notion in collaboration with Hazar Kaba (Sinop University), Felipe Rojas (Brown University), and Angela Commito (Union College). This project is supported by an NEH Collaborative Research Grant.
At Michigan, Ratté teaches courses in Greek and Roman architecture and sculpture, the archaeology western Turkey and the Black Sea region, and ancient Greek. He curated an exhibition, “Rock, Paper Memory: Wendy Artin’s watercolor paintings of Greek and Roman sculptures,” at the Kelsey Museum in the summer and fall of 2015. In the Fall of 2018, he was lead curator (together with Lisa Nevett, Nicola Terrenato, and Kathy Velikov) of another exhibition at the Kelsey, entitled "Urban Biographies, Ancient and Modern," which compared the ancient cities of Notion, Olynthos, and Gabii with contemporary Detroit.
Field(s) of Study
- Ancient Mediterranean Archaeology
- Greek and Roman art
- Archaeology of Anatolia