Christine Johnston

she/her/hers, Assistant Professor


Christine Johnston is an Assistant Professor of Ancient Mediterranean History. Her research focuses on the cultures and history of the Ancient Mediterranean world, particularly on economic exchange and cross-cultural interaction. She employs historical, anthropological, and network methodology to examine political economy and exchange systems in the eastern Mediterranean, particularly the roles of non-institutional actors and extra-palatial trade networks. Her current research projects examine changes in production communities during periods of sociopolitical change in Western Cyprus, and analyze the relationship between political and economic institutions and the distribution of imported goods in both Cyprus and Egypt. In addition to the study of political economy, she is active in research on the environment and climate change in Ancient Egypt, co-authoring a recently published chapter on the Nile in Ancient Egypt in the UNESCO volume River Culture: life as a dance to the rhythm of the waters, and co-editing a volume titled "The Gift of the Nile? Ancient Egypt and the Environment". Dr. Johnston is also a Natural Environment Area Editor for the UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology. She also engages in research on cultural heritage protection and the pedagogical value of integrating legacy material collections in the classroom, and is collaborating with WWU graduate students on the Ancient World in 3D project, which explores strategies of increasing classroom accessibility through the incorporation of 3D printed objects. Dr. Johnston is also a co-founder and video producer for Peopling the Past, a new digital humanities initiative launched in Fall 2020. Peopling the Past produces and hosts open-access multi-media resources for teaching and learning about real people in the ancient world and the real people who study them.

Research Interests

  • Ancient Mediterranean History; Trade and Political Economy; Cultural Heritage; Environmental History; Digital Humanities; Public History

Current Courses

FALL 2023

HIST 490 - Ancient Mediterranean in Media

HIST 499 - Thesis Capstone

Selected Publications

Bunbury, J., J. Cooper, R. Hoath, S. Ikram, C.L. Johnston, T. Schneider. 2023. “The Nile in Egypt: Human Transformation of an Ancient River.” In River Culture – Life as a Dance to the Rhythm of the Waters, edited by K.M. Wantzen. Paris: UNESCO.

Schneider, T., and C.L. Johnston, eds. 2020 The Gift of the Nile? Ancient Egypt and the Environment. Tucson: University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition.

Johnston, C.L., A. Wheeler, A. Nunn, E. Escobar. 2022. “Visualizing and Materializing Objects: 3D Printed Coins in the Classroom.” Visualizing Objects, Places, and Spaces: A Digital Project Handbook, edited by B. Fischer and H. Jacobs.