Kathleen Forste

Lecturer, Boston University

  • Title Lecturer, Boston University
  • Education PhD, Boston University, 2021
    MA, University of Cincinnati, 2012
    BA, University of Cincinnati, 2011

Areas of Interest

Southern Levant, Eastern Mediterranean, Iberian peninsula, paleoethnobotany/archaeobotany, agricultural economy, agriculture, arboriculture, foodways and food traditions, fuel use, political economy, Byzantine, Early Islamic, Crusader periods, recovery techniques, sampling strategies, intrasite and context-based analysis

Research

Kathleen studies ancient agriculture and human-landscape/plant interactions through the lens of archaeobotanical remains. Her dissertation project focused on the agricultural economy in the Levant during the Early Islamic period (c. 636-1099 CE). Specifically, she is investigating how access to and organization of plant resources is impacted by a site’s architectural configuration as well as by its location in the geographic and socio-cultural landscapes. Kathleen is currently analyzing the macrobotanical remains (seeds, fruits, plant parts, wood charcoal) recovered from 4 sites in Israel: Ashkelon, Caesarea Maritima, Tel Shimron, and Neby Zakaria.

As an expansion of her doctoral research, Kathleen has begun field work in Menorca, Spain, where she is reconstructing the agricultural economy of a 13th-century Islamic settlement. She is working on a regional comparison of agricultural systems in the Islamic Levant and Islamic Iberia.

Kathleen has been involved in archaeobotanical work in southern Europe, specifically the analysis of Late Bronze Age assemblages from Greece and Albania, and maintain an interest in low-level food production in the North American Prehispanic Southwest with professors at the University of Cincinnati.

Projects

Menorca Archaeological Project: Torre d’en Galmés

Tel Shimron Excavations

Expedition to Ashkelon

various collaborations with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA)

Publications

See Kathleen’s profile on Academia.edu

Public Media

“Exploring the Woods in the City” on the Forage! Blog, Society of Ethnobiology, June 2020.

Reflections from the Field: Food in the Lower Galilee, Israel” on the Forage! Blog, Society of Ethnobiology, August 2020.

Conferences

Symposium organizer

2021 “Cultivating Cities: Perspectives from the New and Old Worlds on Wild Foods, Agriculture, and Urban Subsistence Economies”, co-chair with Maria C. Codlin, Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting.

Presentations

2021 K.M. Forste and Deirdre Fulton. “A Specialized City: Fatimid-era agriculture at Ashkelon”. Presentation at the Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting.

2020 K.M. Forste, Susan Allen, Nikki Berkebile, and Martha Wendel. “Seeds and Stems on the Edge of Splendor”. Presentation at Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting. *cancelled due to COVID19 pandemic

2020 Linda Seminario, Samantha Kelly, Catherine West, K.M. Forste, and Joe Bagley. “Down in the Dumps: An Introduction to Feature 7 of the Pierce-Hichborn House.” Presentation at Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) Annual Meeting.

2018 K.M. Forste. “Archaeobotanical evidence of orchard production at Early Islamic Ashkelon.” Presentation at American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) Annual Meeting.

2018 K.M. Forste. “New archaeobotanical evidence of Early Islamic agricultural economy at Ashkelon and Caesarea Maritima.” Presentation at the European Association of Archaeology (EAA) Annual Meeting.

2016 John M. Marston, K.M. Forste, and Deirdre Fulton. “The Animal and Plant Economies at Islamic and Crusader Ashkelon.” Presentation at American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) Annual Meeting.

2015 John M. Marston and K.M. Forste. ” Investigating Changes in Production and Consumption and their Economic and Social Impacts at Islamic Ashkelon.” Presentation at American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) Annual Meeting.

2015 Tracy Hoffman, John M. Marston, and K.M. Forste. “New Evidence for Agriculture and Economy at Crusader Period Ashkelon.” Presentation at American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR) Annual Meeting.

2015 K.M. Forste and John M. Marston. “Paleoethnobotanical Investigations of the Economy of Islamic Ashkelon.” Presentation at Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Annual Meeting.

2015 Susan E. Allen and K.M. Forste. “On the Periphery of Collapse: An Archaeobotanical View from the Mycenaean Hinterland at Tsoungiza.” Presentation at Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Annual Meeting.

2011 K.M. Forste and Susan E. Allen. “Fireside Stories: Archaeobotanical Investigations of Bronze Age Combustion Features at Sovjan, Albania.” Presentation at Society of Ethnobiology 34th Annual Meeting.

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