Ellery Frahm

Director, Yale Initiative for the
Study of Ancient Pyrotechnology

About Me

I am an anthropological archaeologist with a scientific bent, using materials characterization in the lab and in the field to study otherwise unobservable behaviors in the past. I have conducted and published research on four continents – Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America – spanning almost half a million years of human history.

A unifying theme of my work is elucidating how different human groups made use of natural resources distributed across the landscape, how they responded to challenges within their environments, and how the resulting behaviors influenced opportunities for the spread of technological innovations and social changes.


Ph.D., Anthropology, University of Minnesota — 2010
M.S., Archaeology, University of Minnesota — 2002
B.A., Grinnell College, Grinnell, Iowa — 1999


  • Faculty Research Scientist, Lecturer, and Director, Yale Initiative for the Study of Ancient Pyrotechnology, Yale University – 2017-Present
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Anthropology Department, University of Minnesota – 2016
  • Research Fellow, Anthropology Department, Harvard University - 2015-2016
  • Postdoctoral Associate, Anthropology & Earth Sciences, University of Minnesota - 2014-2016
  • Marie Curie Experienced Research Fellow, Archaeology, University of Sheffield - 2012-2014
  • Lecturer and Graduate Faculty, Anthropology Department, University of Minnesota – 2011

Please see my CV for additional academic positions.



  • Introduction to Archaeology
  • Analysis of Stone Tool Technology
  • Electron Microprobe Theory & Practice
  • Anthropology of the Modern Middle East
  • Introduction to Archaeological Lab Sciences
  • Geoarchaeology: Earth and Environmental Sciences in Archaeological Investigations


  • Field staff: University of Connecticut Field School in Armenian Prehistory, Armenia
  • Co-organizer: Portable XRF in the Field, Cyprus
  • Co-organizer: Chemical and Magnetic Characterization of Obsidian, Keck Geology Consortium, New Mexico

Please see my CV for additional teaching experience.


In addition to academic collaborations, I welcome inquiries for consulting opportunities that align with my experience:

  • Anthropology and technology: How people interact with scientific instruments and how their actions and choices influence the resulting datasets.
  • Archaeology and technology: Testing, developing, and publishing protocols for archaeological applications of new technologies in the field and lab.
  • Research design: Developed, evaluated, and taught field analytical methods in order to build a predictive model of contaminated soils in urban contexts.
  • Scientific studies of cultural heritage: From studying the technologies of Cypriot wall mosaics to analyzing objets d’art in the Yale University Art Gallery.
  • Chemical analysis: Conducted analyses for global leaders in the materials, metals, and medical industries.
  • Program evaluation: Evaluator for the Science Museum of Minnesota's project on community engagement.


Postal address:
Department of Anthropology
Yale University
P.O. Box 208277
New Haven, CT 06520-8277

Courier (FedEx, UPS, etc.):
Department of Anthropology
Yale University
10 Sachem Street
New Haven, CT 06511-3707

Office: 51 Hillhouse Avenue, Room 303
Email: ellery.frahm@yale.edu
Office phone: 203.432.6610

Yale Initiative for the Study of Ancient Pyrotechnology:
Website: archsci.yale.edu