Photo of Kathleen Forste
Postdoctoral Research Associate in Archaeology (2023-2025)

Kathleen M. Forste is an anthropological archaeologist who studies agricultural systems and human-plant relationships between the 4th and 13th centuries CE through the lens of archaeobotanical remains. Her main research interest lies in understanding how societies adapt their agricultural systems in response to changing environmental and socioeconomic conditions brought about by new systems of rulership, and to the migration of people attendant to colonialism and diasporas. She is interested in differences between urban and rural agricultural production, and is building off of her dissertation findings that in the Levant the agricultural economy of the Early Islamic era (c. 636–1100 CE) shifted away from expansive agricultural estates which had been the major agricultural producers during the preceding Byzantine period (c. 324–636 CE). Additionally, she is interested in the evolution and continuity of foodways and the role cuisine plays in identities, and the use of food as a connection between the past and the present. She currently is involved in fieldwork in Israel (Tel Shimron Excavations) and Spain (Menorca Archaeology Project), and previously has surveyed in Arizona, and has excavated in Albania, Greece, Turkey investigating various aspects of human-landscape relationships.