Katie Berlin

Graduate Research Assistant

  • Title Graduate Research Assistant
  • Education BA, UC Berkeley (2014)

Areas of Interest

Zooarchaeology, Archaeomalacology, Mediterranean, Bronze Age, Feasting Practices, Mycenaean Pottery

Research Interests & Fieldwork

I currently study the relationship between past civilizations and how they understand/interact with their natural environment. Primarily, I am interested in understanding the different ways that marine invertebrates, specifically mollusks, are used in cultural contexts. My Master’s research focuses on archaeological mollusks and ceramics from Greek Bronze Age Mycenae. Mollusks and marine life saturate Mycenaean feasting vessels, and to better understand why, I am reconstructing the availability and variety of mollusks in feasting contexts at the Mycenaean citadel. Part of this reconstruction includes examining assemblages from the beginning and end of the citadel’s occupation in order to elucidate the full range of consumptive foods and how availability may have changed through time. This reconstruction will then help determine if marine motifs on Mycenaean pottery are abstract continuations of Minoan traditions or based on actual shells that Mycenaeans used/consumed. In doing so, I will consider why marine iconography may have been important in feasting practices. By combining zooarchaeological and artifact assemblages, I hope to create a pilot study (at least in this region) that emphasizes how these types of datasets can better inform one another.

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