- Classical Archaeology, especially Greek architecture and urbanism
- Archaeology of Turkey
Christopher Ratté is a Classical archaeologist, specializing in the archaeology of western Anatolia (the Aegean region of modern Turkey).
Ratté is author, coauthor, or editor of five books and more than 40 articles and excavation reports on Anatolian archaeology. His research focuses on the role played by the built environment, from individual monuments to regional settlement patterns, in the articulation of social and cultural identity, especially in regions on the peripheries of the Greek and Roman worlds. 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 1993-1998, and as Co-Director from 1999-2005). From 2005-2009, he directed an archaeological survey of the region around Aphrodisias. From 2009 to 2012, he also directed an archaeological survey of the region around Vani in western Colchis (Republic of Georgia). Together with Felipe Rojas (Brown University) and Angela Commito (Union College), he is now (since 2014) directing a new field project at Notion on the Aegean coast of Turkey. This project received an NEH Collaborative Research Grant in 2018 (for the years 2019-21).
At Michigan, Ratté teaches courses in Greek and Roman architecture and sculpture, the archaeology of Anatolia and the Black Sea region, and ancient Greek. He served as Director of the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology from 2009-2013, and as Director of the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology from 2013-2017. He curated an exhibition, “Rocks, Paper Memory: Wendy Artin’s watercolor paintings of Greek and Roman sculptures,” at the Kelsey Museum in the summer and fall of 2015. In the Fall of 2018, he was lead curator (together with Lisa Nevett, Nicola Terrenato, and Kathy Velikov) of another exhibition at the Kelsey, entitled "Urban Biographies, Ancient and Modern," which compared the ancient cities of Notion, Olynthos, and Gabii with contemporary Detroit.
In 2019-20, Professor Ratté will be a Whitehead Distinguished Scholar at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.