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As an undergraduate, Karlene Jones-Bley studied European history at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), concentrating on Europe and Russia. She returned to UCLA to receive her Ph. D in the interdisciplinary Indo-European Studies Program, which integrated courses in Indo-European languages and linguistics as well as mythology with those in her specialty of Iron and Bronze Age archaeology. Since obtaining her Ph.D., she has held the position of research associate at UCLA and has taught archaeology and an introduction to Indo-European Studies at UCLA, history at Marlbough School for Girls, and linguistics at California State University Los Angeles. She has also written a number of articles regarding women and war as well as queenship, mythology, and burial ritual that have appeared in peer-reviewed journals and anthologies. She has also participated in excavations in England, Northern Ireland, Germany, and the Russian Steppe. From 1997 to 2007, she served as co-editor of the Proceedings of the of the Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference. As a result of her excavations and research in Russia, she produced the monograph, Early and Middle Bronze Age Pottery from the Volga-Don Steppe, which was published by the British Archeological Reports International Series.