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Graduate Student

About Christine

I am an anthropological archaeologist, specializing in zooarchaeology. My research focuses on human-animal interactions in Southwest Asia and the eastern Mediterranean. I am currently involved in field projects at Boğazköy-Hattuša and Çadır Höyük in central Türkiye as a zooarchaeologist. I am also an excavation supervisor at the Makounta-Voules Archaeological Project (NCSU) and the Prastio-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition (Edinburgh University), both of which are located in western Cyprus. Additionally, I have analyzed faunal assemblages from archaeological sites in Southwest Asia, Europe, North America, and Africa. In addition to my doctoral research, I am also currently involved in several projects that explore the connections between osteological pathologies, animal life histories, and ancient economies.

Research Interests

Zooarchaeology, isotopes, urbanism, state formation, animal economy, human-animal interactions, multispecies archaeology, heterarchical and hierarchical social organization, Southwest Asia, Eastern Mediterranean, Anatolia, Bronze Age

Research Background

My dissertation project investigates human-animal relationships and economies at the Bronze Age site of Boğazköy-Hattuša in central Türkiye. Despite the clear significance of human-animal relationships to ancient cities, our knowledge about these relationships within ancient urban landscapes remains limited. Therefore, through a combination of zooarchaeological, isotopic, and historical analyses, I investigate Hattuša’s 1) animal economies, 2) animal geographies, and 3) urban development as the city transformed from an independent kingdom of regional significance in the MBA into the imperial capital of Anatolia’s first empire in the LBA. I use a theoretical framework that emphasizes the significance of non-human animals to urban development, as well as the importance of heterogeneous networks to urban provisioning. I argue that the systems that managed Hattuša’s animal economies and geographies were integral to both the material (i.e., feeding the city) and metaphysical (i.e., feeding the gods) maintenance of the urban landscape.


MA, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2020; BA, Boston University, 2016


"Mikeska, C. (2023, November 15-18). “From Karum to Capital: The Impact of Political Transition on Animal Economies at Middle Bronze Age Boğazköy-Hattuša.” [Paper Presentation]. American Society of Overseas Research Annual Meeting, Chicago, USA.

Mikeska, C. (2022, November 16-19). “The Nature of the Beast: A Multispecies Approach to Urban Development in the Ancient World.” [Paper Presentation]. American Society of Overseas Research Annual Meeting, Boston, USA.

Mikeska, C. (2022, March 30 - April 3). “Herding in Hattuša?: Urban Animal Economy in the Northern Lower Town of LBA Boğazköy-Hattuša.” [Poster Presentation]. 87th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), Virtual Meeting.

Mikeska, C. (2022). “Feeding the City, Feeding the Gods: Animal Economies and Mobility at Bronze Age Hattusa.” [Paper Presentation]. Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) Fellows Talk, Istanbul, Turkey.

Arbuckle, B., C. Mikeska, and T. Kassebaum. (2021). “Domestication and the Flattening of the Wild in the Ancient Near East.” [Paper Presentation]. Animals of the Past: Human–Non-Human Animal Interactions and the Ancient Near East. Online Conference.

Mikeska, C. (2021). “Oh Deer: Defining Native Exploitation Territories in the North Carolina Piedmont Using Strontium (87Sr/86Sr) Isotope Analysis.” [Paper Presentation]. 85th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA). Cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, Rescheduled for 2021.

Mikeska, C. (2021, February 19-20). “A Karum and A Capital: Investigating animal economy at MBA and LBA Hattuša.” [Paper Presentation]. Graduate Symposium in Ancient Near Eastern Studies: Disruption in the Ancient Near East, Virtual Meeting.

Mikeska, C. (2020, November 17-20). “Herding for Hatti: A Preliminary Look at Pastoral Land-Use Practices at MBA and LBA Hattuša Using Strontium (87Sr/86Sr) Isotope Analysis.” [Paper Presentation]. American Society of Overseas Research Annual Meeting (ASOR), Virtual Meeting.

Huston, M., C. Mikeska, C. West. (2017). “Food or Fur.” [Paper Presentation]. 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA).

Mikeska, C. 2015. “Zooarchaeology at the Bronze Age site of Kaymakçı in Western Turkey.” [Poster Presentation]. 18th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at Boston University.

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