Director, Kelsey Museum of Art; Professor, Classical Studies/History of Art
Christopher Ratté is a Classical archaeologist, specializing in the archaeology of western Turkey. 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, and Director of the Kelsey Museum.
Ratté is author, coauthor, or editor of four books and more than 30 articles and excavation reports on the archaeology of Asia Minor. 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. His most recent major publication is the final report (coedited with Peter De Staebler) on an archaeological survey of the region around Aphrodisias, which he directed from 2005 to 2009. Together with Felipe Rojas (Brown University) and Angela Commito (SUNY Albany), he is now (since 2014) directing a new field project at Notion on the Aegean coast of Turkey. From 2009 to 2012, he also directed an archaeological survey of the region around Vani in western Colchis (Republic of Georgia).
At Michigan, Ratté teaches courses in Greek and Roman architecture and sculpture, the archaeology of Asia Minor and the Black Sea region, and ancient Greek. He served as Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology from 2009 to 2013. He joined the staff of the Kelsey as Director and Curator of Greek and Hellenistic collections in July 2013. His first exhibition at the Kelsey, “Rocks, Paper Memory: Wendy Artin’s watercolor paintings of Greek and Roman sculptures,” opened in June of 2015.
Field(s) of Study
- Classical Archaeology
- Greek and Roman art
- Archaeology of Asia Minor