- Classical Archaeology, especially Greek architecture and urbanism
- Archaeology of Turkey
Christopher Ratté is a Classical archaeologist, specializing in the archaeology of western Turkey. Ratté is the author, co-author, or editor of five books and more than 30 articles and excavation reports on the archaeology of Turkey. From 1980 to 1992, he was a member of the Sardis Expedition (serving as Assistant Director from 1989-1992). From 1993 to 2005, he supervised the excavations at Aphrodisias (serving as Field Director from 1993-2005, and as Co-Director from 1999-2006). From 2005-2009, he directed an archaeological survey of the region around Aphrodisias. In 2014, together with Felipe Rojas (Brown University) and Angela Commito (Union College), he started a new field project at Notion on the Aegean coast of Turkey. From 2009-present, Ratté has also been directing an archaeological survey of the region around Vani in western Colchis (Republic of Georgia).
Ratté's research focuses on the role played by the built environment, from individual monuments to entire social landscapes, in the definition and articulation of social and cultural identity, especially in regions on the peripheries of the Greek and Roman worlds – for example, on how masonry techniques helped to articulate the cultural identity of the Anatolian kingdom of Lydia, on the role played by city planning and urban development in the "Romanization" of Aphrodisias, on processes of urban abandonment at Notion, and on how the social organization of Colchis is expressed through regional settlement patterns.