I received my PhD in 2014 which was co-advised by Benjamin Porter (of Near Eastern
Studies) and Christine Hastorf (of Anthropology) with research interests in archaeology, anthropology, ecology,
linguistics, and history. Although my pursuits are (too) broad, my primary research focus is on
the social and political consequences of past entangled human-ecological relationships on both a theoretical and empirical level. To that end
my methodological expertise is in excavation techniques, paleoethnobotany (primarily macrobotanical and wood charcoal analysis) and GIS-modeling, with occasional forays into stable-isotope geochemistry and
zooarchaeology. I also utilize written, documentary evidence in a number of ancient languages.
My spatial and temporal interests are based in southwest Asia and the Eastern Mediterranean (roughly, "the Middle East")in the late Holocene (ca. 1000 BCE - 1000 CE), and
the ways in which communities in this area inhabited semi-arid zones (especially under episodes of political
intervention in the form of empires). My dissertation research
addressed these research questions at the site of Dhiban,
Jordan. The tall, or mounded archaeological site, of Dhiban is located in
south-central Jordan in a semi-arid Mediterranean bioclimate with precipitation too low for reliable rain-fed agriculture. Nevertheless, the area constantly experienced non-local political intervention into local lifeways
for over 2,500 years (700 BCE - 1944 CE), from the Neo-Assyrian to the British Empire. I investigated the ways in which communities at Dhiban negotiated these political interventions via changes in agricultural
production and through social and biotic networks more broadly. I concluded that far from reproducing "timeless agricultural landscapes", the communities at Dhiban in each of these periods responded to intervention in different ways through the production of specific Mediterranean cultigens, such as wheat and grape.
Steen Fatkin, D., K. Adelsberger, A. Farahani, A. Fischer, S. Whitcher Kansa, J. Lev-Tov, C. Morgon, B.W.Porter, B.E. Routledge, and A. Wilson. 2011. Digging Deeper: Technical Reports from the Dhiban Excavation and Development Project (2004-2009). Annual of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan 55: 249-266.