TacheKarine Tache
Ph.D, Simon Fraser University 2008

Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, Queens College-CUNY

Office: Powdermaker Hall 312C
Phone: (718) 997-2893
Fax: (718) 997-2885
Email: karine.tache@qc.cuny.edu

Research                   Books & Edited Volumes                Peer-Reviewed Publications

I am an anthropological archaeologist with a research focus on the prehistory of the Eastern Woodlands. More specifically my research addresses social developments that marked the beginning of the Woodland period (3000-2400 B.P.), such as the creation of extensive interaction networks and the innovation of pottery.

Prehistoric exchange: I am fascinated by interactions between societies and the potential for culture contact to stimulate social development and complexity. My doctoral dissertation contributed to better understanding the structure and regional diversity of the Meadowood Interaction Sphere in North Eastern North America. I argued that, under certain ecological conditions, the attempt by certain individuals or corporate groups to enhance their status through privileged access to rare goods was central in maintaining cross-cultural contacts. In future projects, I wish to further this theoretical standpoint to enhance our understanding of emerging social complexity beyond the Eastern Woodlands of North America

Early pottery and organic residue analysis: In addition to the creation of vast interaction spheres, the Woodland period witnessed the adoption of ceramic technology. My recent work has focused on these early vessels and the range of potential incentives, both social and functional, behind this important technological innovation. To answer some of my research questions on early pottery, I gained a technical expertise in organic residue analysis of archaeological ceramics at the University of York in the UK. Indeed knowing what was processed in pottery provides one of the strongest indications of why it was used. I am a member of the Early Pottery Research group, a multi-national research organization investigating the origins of pottery use using biomolecular and microscopic techniques (http://www.earlypottery.org).  The analysis of organic residues using gas-chromatography/mass spectrometry and other analytical techniques is a very promising research avenue in pottery studies and I am currently setting up an organic residue laboratory at Queens College to contribute to this growing field of study.

Research Focus:
  • Archaeology
  • Early Pottery Technology
  • Organic Residue Analysis
  • Hunter-Gatherers
  • Foundations of Social Inequality
  • Prehistoric Exchange Systems

Courses Taught:
  • Intro to Archaeology (103)
  • Essentials of Archaeology (240) 
  • Research Design and Method (ANTH 238)
  • North American Archaeology (ANTH 243)
  • Archaeology of Food (ANTH 350)
Books & Edited Volumes
Taché, K., (2011) Structure and Regional Diversity of the Meadowood Interaction Sphere. University of Michigan Museum of Anthropology, Memoir No. 48, Ann Arbor.

Peer-Reviewed Publications

Taché, K., M. Bondetti, A. Lucquin, M. Admiraal, and O.E. Craig (2019) Something fishy in the Great Lakes? A reappraisal of early pottery use in north-eastern North America. Antiquity.

Leclerc, M., K. Taché, S. Bedford, and M Spriggs (2019). Organic residue analysis and the role of Lapita pottery. In: Leclerc M. and Flexner J. (eds.). Archaeologies of Island Melanesia: current approaches to landscape, exchange and practice, pp. 179-189. Terra Australis. Canberra, Australia.

Taché, K. (2018) Breaking lipids to enrich the past: looking up to the next 50 years of organic residue analysis. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 42:124-136.

Hart, J., W. Lovis, and K. Taché (2018) Freshwater reservoir offsets and food crusts: Isotope, AMS, and lipid analyses of experimental cooking residues. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196407

Leclerc, M., K. Taché, and O. Craig (2018) The use of Lapita pottery: Results from the first analysis of lipid residues. Journal of Archaeological Science 17:712-722.

Taché, K., A. Burke, and O. Craig (2017) From molecules to clay pot cooking at the Archaic-Woodland transition: A glimpse from two sites in the Middle St. Lawrence valley, QC. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 41:139-164.

Taché, K., and O. Craig (2015) Cooperative harvesting of aquatic resources triggered the beginning of pottery production in Northeastern North America. Antiquity 89(343):177-190.

Taché, K., and O. Craig (In press) Cooperative harvesting of aquatic resources triggered the beginning of pottery production in Northeastern North America. Antiquity 89(343).

Farrell, T.F.G., P. Jordan, K. Taché, A. Lucquin, K. Gibbs, A. Jorge, K. Britton, O. E. Craig, and R. Knecht (2014) Specialized processing of marine resources in Arctic ceramic vessels? A lipid residue analysis of pottery sherds from the Yup’ik Eskimo site of Nunalleq Alaska. Arctic Anthropology 51(1):86-100. 

Craig O.E,  Saul H., Lucquin A.,  Nishida, Y., Taché, K., Clarke, L., Thompson, A., Altoft, D., Uchiyama, J., Ajimoto, M., Gibbs, K., Isaksson, S., Heron C.P., Jordan, P. (2013) Earliest evidence for pottery use. Nature 496(7445):351-354. Contribution: I carried out the lipid analysis and assisted in writing the paper.

Taché, K., and J.P. Hart (2013) Chronometric Hygiene of Radiocarbon Databases for Early Durable Cooking Vessel Technologies in Northeastern North America. American Antiquity 78(2):359-372.

Taché, K., (2011b) New Perspectives on Meadowood Trade Items. American Antiquity 76(1):41-79.

Burley, D., K. Taché, M. Purser, and J. Balenaivalu, (2011) An Archaeology of Salt Production in Fiji. Antiquity 85(327):187-200.

Burley, D., A. Barton, W.R. Dickinson, S.P. Connaughton and K. Taché, (2010) Nukuleka as a Founder Colony for West Polynesian Settlement: New Insights from Recent Excavations. Journal of Pacific Archaeology 1(2): 128-144.

Connaughton, S.P., K. Taché and D.V. Burley, (2010) Taupita: A 3000 Year Old Shell Game in the Lapita Cultural Complex of Tonga. Journal of Social Archaeology 10(1): 118-137.

Taché, K., D. White and S. Seelen (2008) Potential Functions of Vinette I Pottery. Complementary Use of Archaeological and Py-GC/MC Data. Archaeology of Eastern North America 36: 63-90.

Taché, K. (2005) Explaining Vinette I Pottery Variability: The View from the Batiscan Site, Québec. Canadian Journal of Archaeology 29(2): 165-233

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