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Dr. Linda Ellis



Dr. Linda Ellis of San Francisco, California, has over 30 years of experience as a professional consultant and expert on museums and heritage. Dr. Ellis has worked as a Professor, Senior Curator, Lecturer, Researcher, and Writer for most of her life and continues to share her expertise and knowledge today.

Dr. Ellis holds a B.A. (1978) in Anthropology with a minor in Classics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and an M.A. (1979) and Ph.D. (1984) in Anthropology from Harvard University. Upon graduation, Dr. Ellis taught in the Anthropology Department at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and in the Classics Department at Tufts University. Simultaneously, Linda Ellis taught courses on scientific applications to cultural materials and conducted chemical and microscopic analyses on prehistoric ceramics at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University. Following her time at Harvard, Dr. Ellis accepted a position at San Francisco State as the Founding Director of the Master of Arts Program in Museum Studies at SFSU from 1987 to 2011 and Senior Curator of the University Museum from 2011 to 2015. During this time, between 1993-2001, Linda Ellis worked as a Guest Curator for Ancient & Ethnographic Art at Mills College Art Museum. In 1989, Prof. Ellis received the Meritorious Performance & Professional Promise Award from SFSU.  The Museum Studies Program and the many years of joint exhibition programs between the Museum Studies Program and Mills College Art Museum have received nationwide attention.

As an expert on Balkan archaeology and history, Dr. Ellis has delivered public lectures on wars and political crises in the Balkans. She has also conducted archaeological research in Romania for nearly 30 years and was the first Western archaeologist after WWII permitted to conduct archaeological excavations in Romania and to export Romanian museum objects for technical analyses in the U.S.  She was invited by UNESCO to go to Romania in 1992 as part of an international effort to assist museums damaged by the revolts of December 1989.

Dr. Ellis has studied museums and their collections in Germany, England, France, Greece, Bulgaria, former Jugoslavia, Romania, Austria, the South Pacific Islands, Canada, and across the U.S.  She has published three books on the applications of science to archaeology, ancient ceramic technology, archaeological method, and theory. Dr. Ellis has delivered scholarly papers at over two dozen national and international conferences, including meetings of the Archaeological Institute of America, Society for American Archaeology, American Anthropological Association, and Society for Late Antiquity.


Professor Linda Ellis was a great advisor during my time at San Francisco State University. The program was engaging and captivating. The skills that we were taught have definitely furthered my career. Professor Ellis is also good at finding odd facts about different museums that she shares. She also requires practicums and internships, which were highly invaluable. After I graduated, I even had some students conduct their practicums with us at Wells Fargo. Thanks, Professor Ellis, for the great program and learning experience!


Archaeological Method and Theory:
An Encyclopedia, 705 pages.

The Cucuteni-Tripolye Culture: A
Study in Technology and the Origins
of Complex Society.

Laboratory Techniques in
Archaeology: A Guide to the
Literature, 1920-1980.

Author of over 4 dozen articles and
reports in professional publications
in US and Europe from 1979 to the

Travel, Communication, and
Geography in Late Antiquity: Sacred
& Profane.

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