Dr Kate Da Costa

Dr Kate Da Costa

A long-standing member of the Near East Archaeology foundation and co-director of Sydney University’s dig at Pella in Northern Jordan.

Dr Kate da Costa is an archaeologist who has worked in the Levant since the 1980s. Her research has focussed on northern Jordan, the country she knows best, while her personal interests are in architecture and mosaics, as well as the uses of cultural heritage for sustainable tourism.

Kate has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons I) in Near Eastern & Classical Archaeology from the University of Sydney, where she also undertook her PhD on the ancient ceramic lamps of the Levant from the Roman to early Islamic period. She also has a Masters in International Development Studies from UNSW.

Kate taught several courses on an ARC Teaching Fellowship at the University of Sydney, taught as a sessional lecturer in the Department of Archaeology, and has been a guest lecturer at Macquarie University. She continues to lecture at the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation, University of Sydney.

Kate’s research interests are in the responses of local cultures in the Levant: to the Roman Empire, from the 1st century BCE, through the Islamic conquests of the 7th century and up to the Crusader period. She has extensive expertise in objects of daily life across the Mediterranean world, using such artefacts to explore how traditional life persists despite the best efforts of ancient bureaucrats and taxation officials.

Working in small villages across Jordan, Kate has developed a keen interest in the ownership of heritage and how that can best be managed for local communities. Her Arabic is a source of amusement to most Jordanians. Her German is much better.

For many years before completing her PhD, Kate worked for the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation, supporting the development of the tour program which has been operating as a key part of NEAF’s outreach for over 20 years. She has assisted in the design of many tours, from Iran to Moorish Spain.