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Mellon Postdoctoral Fellows: 2014

Catherine Kearns

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow

Classics, 2015-2017

Catherine Kearns is a classical archaeologist focusing on first-millennium BCE landscape change in the ancient Mediterranean.  She earned her Ph.D. in classics from Cornell University, and has done fieldwork in Italy, Jordan, Armenia, and Cyprus, where she did research as a Fulbright scholar.  Her interdisciplinary work resides at the intersections of classics, anthropology, geography, and environmental history. Kearn's book project, "Unruly Landscapes: the Making of First-Millennium BCE Polities in the Eastern Mediterranean," examines the complicated human-environment relationships that reproduced new societies during the early Iron Age (1100-700 BCE), a period marked by dramatic shifts in political form, materialities, and environments.  In her major case study on the island of Cyprus, she integrates archaeological and textual material, spatial analysis, and paleoenvironmental data to investigate diachronic shifts in settlements, salient places, and land management.  Her book will confront long-standing assumptions about the central role of the city in Iron Age state formation by showing the efficacy of increasingly complex landscape and place-making practices in shaping diverse polities.