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Sarah Graff

Sarah Graff

Honors Faculty Fellow and Principal Lecturer, Barrett, the Honors Colllege


Barrett, The Honors College
Arizona State University
PO BOx 871612
Tempe, AZ 85287-1612


  • Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory
  • Honors Faculty Fellow and Principal Lecturer, Barrett, the Honors Colllege


Sarah R. Graff is an Honors Faculty Fellow and Principal Lecturer at Barrett, The Honors College of ASU. She is affiliated faculty with the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, a Senior Global Futures Scientist at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, affiliated faculty with The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and a faculty affiliate at The Melikian Center for Russian, Eurasian and East European Studies at Arizona State University. She directs Honors theses and teaches a variety of exciting courses such as The Human Event, History of Ideas, and special topics courses in anthropology and archaeology. 

Professor Graff (she/her) is an anthropological archaeologist focusing on early economies and social relationships connected to city life and material exchange. Her research and teaching interests involve the varied social interactions between producers, merchants, consumers, and political authorities. This includes the production, exchange, and use of ceramic containers. It also includes the preparation and presentation of food or other substances for social interactions (often while using ceramic vessels). While she is studying the techniques of production and mechanisms of exchange and consumption, she is also interested in the use of space within and between sites, and how different (perhaps unequal) individuals lived and worked together in both regulated and unregulated ways. Dr. Graff’s major theoretical interests are: political, informal, human, and popular economy; cooking and food preparation; cuisine; craft production; urbanism; material culture; technological change; and materials science in archaeology. Methodologically she analyzes the production techniques used to make ceramic containers, their use and movement. She also analyzes archaeological evidence in context, spatial and environmental data, archival records, and material culture more broadly.

Professor's Graff’s current fieldwork is at the ancient Phrygian site of Kerkenes in the Yozgat Province of the Republic of Türkiye. Kerkenes was the largest city in Türkiye when it was inhabited, between 620 and 550 BC. She has also been working at the ancient city of Al-Baleed in Salalah, Oman. During the late ancient and medieval times, Al-Baleed was a significant port city in the Indian Ocean. Previously, her field project was located in the Orontes River Valley of western Syria.

From 2006-2010, she was a Harper-Schmidt Fellow in the Society of Fellows and assistant professor in the social sciences at The University of Chicago. She held a Postdoctoral American Fellowship from the American Association of University Women (2010-2011).


  • PhD, Anthropology, University of Chicago
  • MA, Anthropology, University of Chicago
  • BA, Honors and Classics, Hunter College, CUNY

Journal Articles


Graff, S. R. 2020. Archaeology of cuisine and cooking. Annual reviews of Archaeology 49:337-354. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-anthro-102317-045734. (link )


Graff, S. R., S. Branting and J. M. Marston. 2019. Production requires water: Material remains of the hydrosocial cycle in an ancient Anatolian city. Economic Anthropology 6(2):234-249. DOI: 10.1002/sea2.12147. (link )


Graff, S. R. 2018. Archaeological studies of cooking and food preparation. Journal of Archaeological Research 26:305-351. DOI: 10.1007/s10814-017-9111-5. (link )

Book Chapters


Branting, S., J. W. Lehner, S. B. Tirpan, D. Langis-Barsetti, S. R. Graff, T. Kalayci, A. Groff, L. Proctor, J. Robkin, P. Paulson, N. Baturayoglu Yoney and G. McMahon. 2021. Chapter 12: the Kerkenes Project 2019-2020. Pp. 146-154 In: Steadman, S. R. ed., The Arachaeology of Anatolia, Volume IV: Recent Discovers (2018-2020). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-5275-7601-8.


Branting, S., J. W. Lehner, S. Baltali-Tirpan, D. Langis-Barsetti, T. Kalayci, S. R. Graff, L. Proctor, N. Baturayoglu Yoney, B. Asiliskender, C. Cakirlar-Oddens and J. Marston. 2019. Chapter 8: The Kerkenes Project, 2017-2018. Pp. 99-111 In: Steadman, S. R. and G. McMahon eds., The Archaeology of Anatolia, Volume III: Recent Discoveries (2017-2018). Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN: 978-1-5275-4236-5.

Blog Posts


Graff, S. R., N. Berman, R. Aggarwal, C. M. Edwards, C. Morehart, S. Hamdoun, D. Manuel-Navarrete, O. Iheduru, H. Eakin, M. Parmentier, G. M. Grossman and N. Chhetri. 2020. If "the economy" is collapsing, how do people survive? [Blog Post]. Retrieved from link