Steering committee member

Dr. Elissa Bullion is the state physical anthropologist for the state of Oregon and research associate with the University of Pittsburgh Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies. She currently serves as bioarchaeologist for the Archaeology of the Qarakhanids (ARQ) Project in Uzbekistan, and the Trans-Eurasian Exchanges: Contemporary Dialogues and Archaeological Inquiry (TEECA) Project in collaboration with Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan. Dr. Bullion specializes in human osteology and mortuary archaeology, and her research interests include understanding how labor, identity, and environment shaped population interactions, as well as how mortuary practice reflects the spread and interpretation of religious ideas and engagement across Central Asia

   Research Interests

Central Asian archaeology, bioarchaeology, Islam in Central Asia, Bronze Age Central Asia, mortuary archaeology, geometric morphometric analysis, identity and religion


Bullion, Elissa A., Farhad Maksudov, Edward Henry, Ann Merkle, and Michael Frachetti. 2022. Community Practice and Religion at an Early Islamic Cemetery in Highland Central Asia. Antiquity 97(387): 628-645.

Bullion, Elissa, Zhuldyz Tashmanbetov, and Alicia Ventresca Miller. 2022. Bioarchaeology in Central Asia: Growing from Legacies to Enhance Future Research. Asian Perspectives: 61(2).

Greer, Sean and Elissa A. Bullion. 2021Reconstruction of Anatomy and Care Provisioning in a Severe Case of Spondyloepiphyseal Dysplasia Tarda / Progressive Pseudorheumatoid Dysplasia. International Journal of Paleopathology 34: 147-154.

Doumani Dupuy, Paula N., Aidyn S. Zhuniskhanov, Elissa A. Bullion, Galymzhan K. Kiyasbek, Zhuldyz Tashmanbetova, Erbolat Zh. Rakhmankulov, Amantay I. Isin. 2021. The newly discovered bronze age site of Koken: Merging micro-regions with major study zones in the high steppes of Kazakhstan. Archaeological Research in Asia 27: 100292.

Maksudov, Farhod, Elissa Bullion, Edward R. Henry, Taylor Hermes, Ann M. Merkle, and Michael D. Frachetti. 2019. Nomadic Urbanism at Tashbulak: A New Highland Town of the Qarakhanids. In Urban Cultures of Central Asia from the Bronze Age to the Karakhanids: Learnings and conclusions from new archaeological investigations and discoveries. Proceedings of the Urban Culture of Central Asia Conference, Society for the Exploration of Eurasia. Bern, Switzerland, pp. 283-305.

Frachetti, Michael D. and Elissa A. Bullion. 2018.  Bronze Age Participation in a Global Ecumene: Mortuary Practice and Ideology across Inner Asia. In Globalization in Prehistory: Contact, Exchange, and the 'People Without History' edited by Boivin, N and M. Frachetti, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 102-183.

Hermes, Taylor, Michael Frachetti, Elissa A. Bullion, Farhod Maksudov, Samiridin Mustafakulov, and Cheryl Makarewicz.  2018.  Urban and nomadic isotopic niches reveal dietary connectivities along Central Asia’s Silk Roads.   Scientific Reports 8: 5177.

Spengler III, Robert N., Farhad Maksudov, Elissa Bullion, Ann Merkle, Taylor Hermes, and Michael D. Frachetti. 2018.  Arboreal Crops on the Medieval Silk Road: Archaeobotanical studies at Tashbulak. PLoS ONE 13(8): e0201409.