Tate Paulette

Picture of Tate Paulette

Assistant Professor

Biography

Tate Paulette studies urban food systems in the ancient world. A native of North Carolina, he holds an MA and PhD in Near Eastern Archaeology from the University of Chicago and an MA in Archaeology from the University of Edinburgh. 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 is currently 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. He is also working on an article that provides a detailed account of his experimental brewing efforts and another article that highlights the transformative power of beer in Bronze Age Mesopotamia. 

Teaching and Research Interests

Agriculture
Food
State making
Urbanization
Ancient Near East
Mesopotamia
Cyprus

Projects

Makounta-Voules Archaeological Project, Cyprus, Co-director

Publications

Price, M., K. Grossman, and T. Paulette. 2017. Pigs and the pastoral bias: The other animal economy in northern Mesopotamia (3000–2000 BCE). Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 48: 46–62.

Paulette, T., and M. Fisher. 2017. Potent potables of the past: Beer and brewing in Mesopotamia. The Ancient Near East Today, April 2017, vol. 5, no. 4. (Website)

Paulette, T. 2016. Grain, storage, and state making in Mesopotamia (3200–2000 BC). In Storage in ancient complex societies: Administration, organization, and control, eds. L. R. Manzanilla and M. Rothman, 85–109. New York: Routledge.

Paulette, T. 2013. Consumption and storage in the Bronze Age. In Models of Mesopotamian landscapes, eds. T. J. Wilkinson, McG. Gibson, and M. Widell, 102–111. BAR International Series 2552. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Paulette, T. 2013. Pastoral systems and economies of mobility. In Models of Mesopotamian landscapes, eds. T. J. Wilkinson, McG. Gibson, and M. Widell, 130–139. BAR International Series 2552. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Altaweel, M., and T. Paulette. 2013. Modeling nomad-sedentary interactions. In Models of Mesopotamian landscapes, eds. T. J. Wilkinson, McG. Gibson, and M. Widell, 204–218. BAR International Series 2552. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Widell, M., B. Studevent Hickman, J. Tenney, J. Lauinger, D. Mahoney, and T. Paulette. 2013. Staple production, cultivation and sedentary life: Model input data. In Models of Mesopotamian landscapes, eds. T. J. Wilkinson, McG. Gibson, and M. Widell, 81–101. BAR International Series 2552. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Paulette, T. 2012. Domination and resilience in Bronze Age Mesopotamia. In Surviving sudden environmental change: Answers from archaeology, eds. J. Cooper and P. Sheets, 167–195. Boulder, CO: University Press of Colorado.

Reichel, C., T. Paulette, and K. Grossman. 2012. Early Bronze Age Hamoukar: “Akkadian”– and beyond? In Seven generations since the fall of Akkad, ed. H. Weiss, 279–299. Studia Chaburensia, vol. 3. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

Wilkinson, T. J., McG. Gibson, J. H. Christiansen, M. Widell, D. Schloen, N. Kouchoukos, C. Woods, J. Sanders, K.-L. Simunich, M. Altaweel, J. A. Ur, C. Hritz, J. Lauinger, T. Paulette, and J. Tenney. 2007. Modeling settlement systems in a dynamic environment: Case studies from Mesopotamia. In The model-based archaeology of socionatural systems, eds. T. A. Kohler and S. van der Leeuw, 175–208. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.

Presentations

"It’s all about the ingredients:Archaeological perspectives on beer and brewing in Mesopotamia," 11th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Munich, Germany, 2018

"Prehistoric Archaeology in the Polis Region: The First Season of Survey and Geophysics at Makounta-Voules and Stroumpi-Pigi-Agios Andronikos, Cyprus" (with Kathryn Grossman, Lisa Graham, and Andrew McCarthy), 11th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Munich, Germany, 2018

"Storing like a state in Mesopotamia (4000–2000 BC) or: How great were the great organizations?," American Schools of Oriental Research, Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, 2017

"Where the beer flowed like wine: Beer and brewing in Bronze Age Mesopotamia," AIA Lecture Program, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, 2017

"Inebriation and the early state: The transformative power of beer in Bronze Age Mesopotamia," Frederick R. and Margaret B. Matson Lecture, AIA Lecture Program, Monmouth College, Monmouth, IL, 2017

"Grain, storage, and state making in Mesopotamia (3200–2000 BC)," Society for American Archaeology, Annual Meeting, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2017

"Where the beer flowed like wine: Brewing and intoxication in Bronze Age Mesopotamia" (with M. Fisher), American Schools of Oriental Research, Annual Meeting, San Antonio, TX, 2016

"Where the beer flowed like wine: Brewing and intoxication in Bronze Age Mesopotamia," Dartmouth College, Department of Anthropology, Hanover, NH, 2016

"Grain storage and gastro-politics in Mesopotamia (3000–2000 BC)," 10th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East, Vienna, Austria, 2016

"Recasting the “magic circle”: The politics of food in an incomplete state" (with S. Richardson), American Schools of Oriental Research, Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, 2015

"Pork futures past: The pig complex in Early Bronze Age northern Mesopotamia" (with M. Price and K. Grossman), American Schools of Oriental Research, Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA, 2015

“'Not to know beer is not normal': The archaeological invisibility of beer and brewing in Bronze Age Mesopotamia," Brown University, Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, Brown Bag Series in Archaeology, Providence, RI, 2015

"Grain storage and gastro-politics in Mesopotamia (3000–2000 BC)," University of Connecticut, Anthropology Department, Old World Archaeology seminar series, Storrs, CT, 2015

"Brewing beer in Mesopotamia: Technology, technique, and tradition" (with M. Fisher), American Anthropological Association, Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, 2014

"What happens in Sumer stays in Sumer: the archaeological invisibility of beer in Mesopotamia" (with M. Fisher), Theoretical Archaeology Group USA, Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, 2013

Education

  • PhD in Near Eastern Archaeology from University of Chicago, 2015
  • MA in Near Eastern Archaeology from University of Chicago, 2004
  • MA in Archaeology from University of Edinburgh, 2001