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Dr. Linda Ellis


Dr. Linda Ellis is an experienced Professor, Curator, Researcher and Writer based in San Francisco. Dr. Ellis has over three decades of experience in her field and specializes in Eastern European culture and archaeology.

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 where she specialized in Old World archaeology and the applications of the physical sciences to the chemical and microscopic analysis of archaeological materials.

Upon graduating from Harvard University, Dr. Linda Ellis taught courses on scientific applications to cultural materials and conducted chemical and microscopic analyses on prehistoric ceramics.  She has also taught in the Anthropology Department at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and in the Classics Department at Tufts University. Dr. Ellis was 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.

Throughout her 28 years at SFSU, Dr. Linda Ellis developed and taught 19 new courses across 3 departments. For 24 years, Linda Ellis administered all aspects of degree program including design and budgeting of state-of-the-art museum teaching facility, development of educational policies and procedures, interface with university administration, created liaisons with museums, development, and teaching of the curriculum, advising on hundreds of museum internships and Master’s theses. As the Senior Curator of the University Museum, Dr. Ellis developed collections and collecting policies, located and negotiated gifts to the museum, developed the exhibition and long-term strategy, and prepared graduate students for careers in curatorship. Ellis was also responsible for exhibition design, collections management, conserving and repairing objects as needed, and providing collections related advice to faculty and academic units as needed.

Apart from her longtime career at SFSU, Linda Ellis has conducted archaeological research in Romania from 1979 to 2009 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. Dr. Ellis has also published three books on the applications of science to archaeology, ancient ceramic technology, archaeological method and theory and many articles in professional journals, and has contributed articles in several volumes of conference proceedings in Europe and the US.

Past Positions

Senior Curator of the University Museum

San Francisco State University

Professor - Museum Studies Program

San Francisco State University

Founder & Director, Museum Studies M.A. Program

San Francisco State University


  • History
  • Researching
  • Curating
  • Teaching
  • Lecturing


Dr. Ellis was one of the main attractants for my attendance at SFSU’s Museum Studies Program. I was initially drawn to her educational and work background in archaeology, while many other Museum Studies departments were directed by art historians. Beyond those credentials, though, Professor Ellis is sharp, worldly and warm. Most impressive is the way that she partners with her students to provide amazing educational experiences and prepare them to be real leaders in the workplace. My time with her was invaluable.


Ph.D. in Anthropology/Archaeology



M.A. in Anthropology/Archaeology



B.A. in Anthropology/Classics


Alpha Mu Gamma national collegiate foreign language honor society


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