Earned BA degree in Earth Science at California State University, Fullerton.
Earned MS and PhD degrees in Geology at the University of Oklahoma and the University of Cincinnati respectively.
He taught Geology at the University of Toledo for 30 years, retiring in 2009.
Dr. Harrell is now an emeritus professor at the University of Toledo.
This work, which began 33 years ago, has culminated in his book, "Archaeology and Geology of Ancient Egyptian Stones".
He has investigated hundreds of mines and quarries that supplied ancient Egypt with the stones for its monumental structures, statuary, jewelry and more.
He has done extensive research throughout the Aswan Quarry. Along with other archaeologists with similar research, it has been determined that the Aswan Quarry is the only place from which the Rosetta Stone (granodiorite) could've been quarried. The original notice was in the following paper: A.P. Middleton and D.D. Klemm. 2003. The Geology of the Rosetta Stone. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, vol 89, pages 207-216.
"The world is plagued by a multitude of acute problems and the Rosetta Stone Traveling Exhibit offers a well-reasoned and practical approach to finding solutions through its promotion of critical-thinking and problem-solving. This is a laudable goal with a universal appeal. The main focus of the exhibit, the Rosetta Stone, bears an ancient trilingual inscription cut into a slab of rock that was quarried near the Egyptian city of Aswan. As a geologist who studies the uses and sources of ancient Egyptian stones, I am attracted to the Rosetta Stone not only as a historical artifact but also as a metaphor for problem-solving." -- James Harrell