Christine Hastorf focuses on social life, political change, agricultural production, foodways, and the methodologies that lead to a better understanding of the past through the study of plant-use. She has written on agricultural production, cooking practices and what shifts in these suggest about social relations, gender relations surrounding plant use, the rise of complex society, political change and the symbolic use of plants in the legitimation of authority, fuel use and related symbolism, and plant domestication as part of social identity construction and ritual and social identity. She is particularly interested in wild plant use and their management across a landscape in indigenous worlds, identifying the stages in plant processing, their participation in social construction, and especially their participation and reflection of the symbolic and the political, in addition to the playing out of the concept of culture in the natural world. She has completed a range of methodological investigations to improve our use of archaeobotanical remains in archaeological investigations. She has primarily completed research in the Andes of South America, but has also worked in Mexico, Turkey and Italy.
I became involved in anthropological research concerned with long-term human-plant relationships in 1979. I have been teaching these subjects at UC Berkeley since 1994. Within archaeology, I have focused primarily on the Andean region of South America. I am involved in studying highland Andean societies, first with the later prehistory and the Inka periods’ social and political world, with a research focus in the Upper Mantaro Valley, central Peru. Beginning in 1992 I initiated a field project on the southern shores of Lake Titicaca in Bolivia. In that project called the Taraco Archaeological Project, we are focusing on earlier temporal phases, studying the first permanent settlements up to the expansion of Tiwanaku. While most of the research has been at the Formative site of Chiripa, we have also have been excavating at a range of sites that span two thousand years. We are interested in studying the domestic daily world of the residents, but also of their social and ritual worlds as well as the larger interactive regional system. Between 1993 and 2001 I was involved in research at the Neolithic village site of Çatalhöyük, where I focused on the paleoethnobotanical side of that research project. Throughout my career I have been n with food studies both current and in the past. Since 2013 I have been interested in chile pepper domestication and spread.
My laboratory and methodological expertise is what is called paleoethnobotany or archaeobotany--the study of plants used by humans in the past. I set up the UCB McCown Archaeobotany Laboratory, where a series of analytical projects are ongoing. Students working with me have a chance to join in on current laboratory and field projects. We include both undergraduates and graduates in both types of research. While my main work has been with macrobotanical remains, both seeds and storage tissue. The laboratory also has the capacity to analyze wood, phytoliths and starch samples, in addition to documenting internal cellular morphology in identification. We have several type collections covering plants from the highlands of South America, Mexico and California. Further, I have been involved in stable isotope research and our laboratory community often works with the Center for Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry on the UCB campus.
In press Formative exchange in the Andean Titicaca Basin: Isotopic camelid data and lithic sourcing evidence from the Taraco Peninsula, Bolivia, Ñawpa Pacha, (Christine A Hastorf, Katherine M Moore, Irene E Smail, Rachael Penfil, P. Ryan Williams, Danielle J Riebe, and Kelly J Knudson).
2021 The rise and fall of Wiñaymarka: Rethinking cultural and environmental interactions in the southern basin of Lake Titicaca, Human Ecology (Maria C. Bruno, José M. Capriles, Christine A. Hastorf, Sherilyn C. Fritz, D. Marie Weide, Alejandra I. Domic, and Paul A. Baker)
2020 Interpreting ancient food practices: Stable isotope and molecular analyses of visible and absorbed residues from a year-long cooking experiment, NatureScientific Reports 10:13704 (Melanie J. Miller, Helen L. Whelton, Jillian A. Swift, Sophia Maline, Simon Hammann, Lucy J.E. Cramp, Alexandra McCleary, Geoffrey Taylor, Kirsten Vacca, Fanya Becks, Richard P. Evershed, Christine A. Hastorf) https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-70109-8
Reporting on it:
2020 The flavors archaeobotany forgot, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 59:101189pp.1-10, special edition Gardens in the American Neotropics, edited by Andrew R. Wyatt and Maia Dedrick(Christine Hastorf and Maria Bruno). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaa.2020.101189
2020 The life force materialized in Andean religion, in Archaeological Interpretations: Symbolic Meaning within Andes Prehistory, edited by Peter Eeckhout, University of Florida Press, pp. 67-91.
2019 Temporal inflection points in decorated ceramics: a Bayesian refinement of the Late Formative chronology in the southern Lake Titicaca basin, Bolivia (Erik J. Marsh, Andrew P. Roddick, Maria C. Bruno, Scott C. Smith, John W. Janusek, and Christine A. Hastorf)Latin American Antiquity, 30(4):798-817.
2018 Agriculture is a state of mind: the Andean potato’s social domestication, in Far from the Hearth: Essays in Honour of Martin Jones, edited by Emma Lightfoot, Xinyi Liu, and Dorian Fuller, McDonald Monograph Series, University of Cambridge, pp. 109-116.
2018 Using their heads: the lives of crania in the Andes, In Social Skins of the Head: Body beliefs and ritual in Ancient Mesoamerica and the Andes, edited by Vera Tiesler and María Cecilia Lozada, University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, pp. 269-274.
2018 Intcal, Shcal, or a mixed curve? Choosing a 14C calibration curve for archaeological and paleoenvironmental records from tropical South America, Radiocarbon 1-16. (Erik J. Marsh, Sherilyn Fritz, Maria Bruno, Paul Baker, José M. Capriles, and Christine A. Hastorf)
2018The Lost Half of Andean Architecture: Eighteenth-Century Roofing Traditions and Environmental Use at Chinchero, Peru, Latin American Antiquity 29(2):222-238 (Stella Nair, Sonia Archila M., and Christine A. Hastorf)
2017 The Actions and Meanings of Visible and Hidden Spaces at Formative Chiripa. Ñawpa Pacha 37:1-22. DOI 10.1080/00776297.2017.1390925.
2017 A ~6000-year diatom record of Lago Wiñaymarca, Lake Titicaca, (Peru/Bolivia): implications for understanding lake-level fluctuations during the mid-to-late Holocene, Quaternary Research 88(2). https://doi.org/10.1017/qua.2017.49 (Weide, D. Marie, Sherilyn C. Fritz, Christine A. Hastorf, Maria C. Bruno, Paul A. Baker, Stephane Guedroand Wout Salenbien).
2017Exploring plantscapes at the ancient Maya village of Joya de Cerén, El Salvador, Antiquity 91(358):980–997. DOI: https://doi.org/10.15184/aqy.2017.119 (Alan Farahani, Katherine Chiou, Anna Harkey, Christine A. Hastorf, David Lentz, and Payson Sheets) Receiving the best article of 2017 award from the Antiquity editors.
2017 Exploring culinary practices through GIS modeling at Joya de Cerén, El Salvador, In Social perspectives on ancient lives from paleoethnobotanical data, edited by Matthew Sayre and Maria Bruno, Springer Publs. pp. 101-120. (Alan Farahani, Katherine L. Chiou, Rob. Q. Cuthrell, Anna Harkey, Shanti Morell-Hart, Christine A. Hastorf and Payson D. Sheets).
2017 Chile pepper (Capsicum spp.) distribution and use at the Preceramic sites of Huaca Prieta and Paredones, Chicama Valley, Peru, In Recent excavations at Huaca Prieta, Peru, edited by Tom D. Dillehay (Katherine L. Chiou, Christine A. Hastorf, Victor F. Vásquez Sánchez, Teresa Rosales Tham, Duccio Bonavia, and Tom D. Dillehay)
2017 The social and political sides of food surplus, In World Archaeology, The archaeology of food surplus 49(1):1-14 (Christine A. Hastorf and Lin Foxhall).
DOI 10.1080/00438243.2016.1252280. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2016.1252280
2016 Gifts from the camelids: archaeobotanical insights into camelid pastoralism through dung studies. In The archaeology of Andean Pastoralism. José M. Capriles and Nicholas Tripcevich (eds.), University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, pp. 55-65. (Maria C. Bruno and Christine A. Hastorf)
2015 Steamed or boiled: identity and value in food preparation InBetween Feasts and Daily Meals Towards as archaeology of commensal spaces, edited by Susan Pollack, Topoi,Berlin, Germany, pp. 243-276.
2015 Maíz en las montañas: la introducción del maíz en la cuenca sur del Lago Titicaca. In Avances y desafíos metodológicos en arqueobotánica: miradas consensuadas y diálogos compartidos desde Sudamérica. Edited by Carolina Belmar and Verónica Lema, SEK University, Santiago Chile. pp. 122-142
2015 Prehistoric birds from the Lake Titicaca region, Bolivia: long-term continuity and change in an Andean bird community, The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 127(3):359-375. (D. W. Steadman and C. A. Hastorf).
2014 Neolitik Çatalhöyük’te yemek (Food at Neolithic Çatalhöyük). YemekveKültür 38:92-103, Istanbul, Turkey. (Christine A. Hastorf and Sonya Atalay)
2014 Political Centers in Context: Depositional Histories at Formative Period Kala Uyuni, Bolivia, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 36:140-157 (Andrew P. Roddick, Maria C. Bruno and Christine A. Hastorf).
2014 A systematic approach to species-level identification of chile pepper (Capsicum spp. L.) seeds: Establishing the groundwork for tracking the domestication and movement of chile peppers through the Americas and Beyond, Economic Botany 68(3): 316-336. (K. L. Chiou and C. A. Hastorf).
2014 Documenting cultural selection pressure changes on chile pepper (Capsicum baccatum L.) seed size through time in coastal Peru (7600 B.P.-present), Economic Botany 68(2): 190-202. (Katherine L. Chiou, Christine A. Hastorf, Duccio Bonavia, and Tom D. Dillehay).
2014 Fishing and environmental change during the emergence of social complexity in the Lake Titicaca Basin, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 34: 66–77. (José Mariano Capriles Flores, Katherine M. Moore, Alejandra I. Domic, and Christine A. Hastorf)
2013 Calculating ceramic vessel volume: an assessment of methods, Antiquity 87(338): 1182-1190. (Erin Rodríguez and Christine A. Hastorf)
2013 Flotation versus dry sieving archaeobotanical remains: A case history from the Middle Horizon southern coast of Peru, Journal of Field Archaeology, 38(1):38-53. (Katherine L. Chiou, Anita G. Cook and Christine A. Hastorf)
2012 “Let’s Drink Together”: Early ceremonial use of maize in the Titicaca Basin, Latin American Antiquity,23(3):235-258.(Amanda Logan, Christine A. Hastorf and Deborah Pearsall)
2012 The habitus of cooking practices at Neolithic Çatalhöyük- What was the place of the cook? In The Menial Art of Cooking, edited byEnrique Rodríguez-Alegría and Sarah Graff, Boulder, University of Colorado Press, pp. 65-86.
2012 The life of Building 3 through plant use: The macrobotanical evidence of Neolithic dwelling from the Berkeley Archaeology at Çatalhöyük (BACH) excavations 1997-2003, Tringham, Ruth and Mirjana Stevanović (editors), Last house on the hill: BACH Area Reports from Çatalhöyük, Turkey. Monumenta Archaeologica 27, pp. 269-295, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA. (Rachel M. Cane, Rob Q. Cuthrell, Matthew P. Sayre, K. Elizabeth Soluri, and Christine A. Hastorf)
2012 Steamed or boiled: identity and value in food preparation In Commensality, Social Relations and Ritual: Between Feasts and Daily Meals, edited by Susan Pollack, e-Topoi Journal for Ancient Studies, vol. 2 Berlin, Germany. http://journal.topoi.org/index.php/etopoi/issue/view/3 2014 published in print TOPOI, Berlin, Germany
2011 Reconstructing Past Life-Ways with Plants II: Human-Environment and Human-Human Interactions (D. Pearsall and C. A. Hastorf), In Ethnobiology, edited by E. N. Anderson, Karen Adams, Deborah Pearsall, Eugene Hunn and Nancy Turner, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, Hoboken NJ.
2010 Sea Changes in Stable CommunitiesWhat Do Small Changes in Practices at Çatalhöyük and Chiripa Imply about Community Making? In Becoming Villagers, Edited by Matthew Bandy and Jake Fox, University of Arizona Press, pp. 140-161.
2010 Tradition brought to the surface: Continuity, innovation and change in the Late Formative Period, Taraco Peninsula, Bolivia, Cambridge Archaeological Journal20:157-178. (Andrew Roddick and Christine Hastorf)
2010 The Fish of Lake Titicaca: Implications for Archaeology and Changing Ecology through Stable Isotope Analysis, Journal of Archaeological Science 37: 317-327, (Melanie J. Miller, José M. Capriles, and Christine A. Hastorf).
2009 Agriculture as Metaphor of the Andean State In Polities and Power: Archaeological Perspectives on the Landscapes of Early States edited by Steven E. Falconer and Charles L. Redman, University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pp. 52-72.
2008 Heads of State: Icons, power and politics in the ancient and modern Andes, Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, CA, by Denise Y. Arnold and Christine A. Hastorf.
2008 The Formative Period in the Titicaca Basin, In Handbook of South American Archaeology II, edited by Helaine Silverman and William Isbell, Springer, NYC, pp. 545-561.
2006 Food, meals and daily activities: The habitus of food practices at Neolithic Çatalhöyük. American Antiquity 71(2):283-319. By Sonya Atalay and Christine A. Hastorf).
2006 The movements of maize into Middle Horizon Tiwanaku, Bolivia, In Histories of Maize: Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Prehistory, Biogeography, Domestication, and Evolution of Maize, edited by John Staller, Robert Tykot, and Bruce Benz, Elsevier, San Diego, pp. 429-448. (Christine A. Hastorf, William T. Whitehead, Maria C. Bruno, and Melanie Wright).
2006 Domesticated Food and Society in Early Coastal Peru, In, Time and Complexity in Historical Ecology: Studies in the Neotropical Lowlands, edited byWilliam Balée and Clark Erickson, editors, Columbia University Press, New York, pp. 87-126.
2003 Community with the ancestors: Ceremonies and social memory in the Middle Formative at Chiripa, Bolivia, Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, 22(4):305-332.
The Social Archaeology of Food
This book offers a global perspective on the role food has played in shaping human societies, through both individual and collective identities. It integrates ethnographic and archaeological case studies from the European and Near Eastern Neolithic, Han China, ancient Cahokia, Classic Maya, the Inka and many other periods and regions, to ask how the meal in particular has acted as a social agent in the formation of society, economy, culture and identity. Drawing on a range of social theorists, Hastorf provides a theoretical toolkit essential for any archaeologist interested in foodways. Studying the social life of food, this book engages with taste, practice, the meal and the body to discuss power, identity, gender and meaning that creates our world as it created past societies.
The human head has had important political, ritual and symbolic meanings throughout Andean history. Scholars have spoken of captured and trophy heads, curated crania, symbolic flying heads, head imagery on pots and on stone, head-shaped vessels, and linguistic references to the head.
The Upper Mantaro Archaeological Research Project, a multiyear program undertaken from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s, is a benchmark for a new level of quality in Andean archaeological research and has brought the theory and substance of research in the region to the attention of the larger archaeological community.
Archaeologists have long been interested in the onset of political differentiation, and how this can be inferred from the archaeological record. Here Christine Hastorf looks at the nature of power and political diversity in the Andean region of central Peru over a thousand-year period, from AD 200 until the fifteenth-century Inka conquest.