Tate Paulette studies urban food systems in the ancient world. He holds an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago (Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations) and an MA from the University of Edinburgh (Archaeology). His research explores agricultural practices, gastro-politics, and state making in the world’s first cities and states, with a focus on Mesopotamia and the Near East. He is also interested in ancient alcohol, and he has spearheaded a collaborative effort to recreate Sumerian beer using authentic ingredients, equipment, and brewing techniques. Paulette has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Syria, Egypt, Turkey, Cyprus, Scotland, and the US, and he has just completed the first season of a new field project at the site of Makounta Voules in western Cyprus. His teaching focuses on agricultural history, food, urbanism, and the ancient world.
Paulette’s recent publications include an article that highlights the fundamental importance of pigs in Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia, a book chapter that explores the connection between grain storage and state making in Mesopotamia, and a blog post that summarizes the evidence for beer and brewing in Mesopotamia. He is currently working on an article that provides a detailed account of his experimental brewing efforts and another article that focuses on the transformative power of beer in Bronze Age Mesopotamia. He is also working on two book projects: one that uses the archaeological evidence for grain storage to reconsider the scope and the scale of state power in early Mesopotamia and another that examines the material culture of beer and brewing in cross-cultural perspective.