Staff Personnel

 

Marilyn Masson, Project Director

Marilyn Masson

Marilyn Masson (center) with friends Victor Ayuso and Sonya Espat of Belize.

Marilyn Masson is an Associate Professor in Anthropology at the University at Albany –SUNY. Her research focuses on ancient economies of the Maya area, with recent emphases on household archaeology and the urban organization of Mayapán, the largest Maya political capital of the Postclassic Period. She is the author/editor of three books, including In the Realm of Nachan Kan (2000), Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica (2000, with Michael E. Smith), and Ancient Maya Political Economies (2002, with David A. Freidel). She has served as Principal Investigator on two major archaeological research projects, including the Belize Postclassic Project (1996-2002) and the Economic Foundations of Mayapan Project, which is co-directed by Carlos Peraza Lope and Timothy S. Hare (2001-present, supported by the National Science Foundation and the National Geographic Society). Currently, Masson’s collaborative research at Mayapán examines occupational heterogeneity, affluence, and modes of governance within the city’s neighborhoods. Marilyn received her doctoral degree at the University of Texas – Austin in 1993. She is a zooarchaeologist and lithic analyst and is also interested in the archaeology of religion. Her forthcoming book, “Ancient Urban Life at Mayapan,” Yucatan (University of Colorado Press, co-authored with Carlos Peraza Lope) documents greater complexity and integration in the political, social, and religious life of this political capital, and presents evidence for urban planning and administration.

   
 

Carlos Alberto Peraza Lope, Project Director

Carlos Alberto Peraza Lope is an archaeologist with the Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia in the state of Yucatán, Mexico. He is the director of the INAH-Mayapán Project which has annually investigated and restored sections of this city’s monumental zone, open for tourism, since 1996. He has also conducted investigations of hundreds of sites throughout the northern Maya lowlands, including Kuluba and Cozumel. His recent publications include articles on ayapán in the journals Arqueología Mexicana and Ancient Mesoamerica, as well as a seminal monograph on Postclassic Maya pottery, “Estudio y secuencia del material ceramico de San Gervasio, Cozumel” (published by the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatán).

Carlos Alberto Peraza Lope
   

Timothy Hare, Project Director

Timothy Hare

Dr. Timothy S. Hare, Associate Professor of Anthropology in the Institute for Regional Analysis and Public Policy, is in the College of Business and Public Affairs at Morehead State University. He teaches globalization, social theory, regional analysis, geographical information systems, and economic geography. He specializes in spatial statistics to investigate transformations of political economy, public health, and development. His current archaeological work explores the urban organization and transformation of ancient Mayápan. He worked with Marilyn Masson and Carlos Peraza Lope during the 2001-2005 seasons and 2008-2009 seasons at Mayapán and focused on updating the map of the city and providing the excavation grids. His current development research addresses the social, political, economic,and cultural factors influencing health and justice in central Appalachia. He also directs the Kentucky Center for Geospatial Education, Research, and Outreach and manages the Kentucky Height Modernization Program.

   

Dr. Bradley Russell directed the three year Mayapán Periphery Project, documenting roughly 2 km2 of previously unrecorded terrain located outside of the massive fortifications which ring much of the site.  The study involved extensive mapping, excavation and soil sampling aimed at establishing the chronology and function of all features detected.  The new data suggest that some 17,000 people were present at the site, rather than the 12,000 person population estimate that has been widely used since 1962.  The estimated site size more than doubled from 4.2 sq km to between 8.8 sq km (map) and 10.1 sq km (map).  The site-wide spatial distribution and function of, residential settlement zones, economic production activities, the road system, administrative architecture and ritual architecture are all explored in detail.  The study identified key settlement zones and segregated economic production zones for agricultural produce, livestock and large scale lime plaster production located outside of the site’s fortifications.  This work contributes to the anthropological study of ancient urbanism and adds to a very robust and growing data set on the site’s overall organization.  The results of this work were published in 2008 as his doctoral dissertation, Postclassic Maya Settlement on the Rural Urban Fringe of Mayapán, Yucatán, Mexico and are available online at no cost at: http://mayapanperiphery.net/.

Brad Russell, Project Co-Director

Brad Russell

   

Pedro Delgado Kú, Field Director

 
Pedro Delgado Kú

Pedro Delgado Kú received his licenciado degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (Mérida) in 2004 and has directed field investigations under the INAH-Mayapan
and PEMY projects since 1997. He has worked year-round on salvamento projects across the Yucatan peninsula. His UADY thesis on the public architecture of Mayapan’s monumental center is entitled: Estudio de la Arquitectura Pública de Núcleo Principal de Mayapán, Yucatán (2004). Pedro is an expert in excavating and restoring monumental architecture.

   
 

Bárbara Escamilla Ojeda,

Field Director

Bárbara Escamilla Ojeda received her licenciado degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (Mérida) in 2004 and has directed field investigations under the INAH- Mayapan and PEMY projects since 1997. She has worked year-round on salvamento projects across the Yucatan peninsula. Her UADY thesis is on the obsidian industry of Mayapán, entitled: Los Artefactos de Obsidiana de Mayapán, Yucatán (2004). Bárbara is an expert in stone tool analysis, as well as architectural excavation and restoration.

Bárbara Escamilla Ojeda
   

Stan Serafin, Project Bioarchaeologist

Stan Serafin

In 2003, I began analyzing the human skeletal remains from Mayapan excavated by the Carnegie Institution of Washington, Cliff Brown, Proyecto Mayapan, and the Economic Foundations of Mayapan Project for my dissertation, which I completed in 2010 in the Department of Anthropology at Tulane University. I found relatively high frequencies of healed cranial trauma in males, several cases of perimortem depressed cranial fractures, penetrating rib wounds and trophy-taking, and an embedded arrow head, lending support to colonial accounts of frequent warfare and social strife. Dental metric and nonmetric analyses demonstrated a relatively heterogeneous population compared to Classic period sites of the southern lowlands. Ongoing research is addressing nutritional and disease stress in different sectors of the population.

   
 

Wilberth Antonio Cruz Alvarado, Ceramicist

Wilberth A. Cruz Alvarado. Lic. en Ciencias Antropológicas en la especialidad de Arqueología, por la Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (FCAUADY). Con la tesis Distribución y cronología cerámica de sitios arqueológicos del centro-sur de Yucatán (2010).

En los últimos años se ha especializado en el análisis tipológico de la cerámica arqueológica, ilustraciones de vasijas y esculturas, así como en la restauración parcial de vasijas, los cuales ha aplicado en diversos proyectos arqueológicos, tales como: los de Labná (1991-1993), Ek-Balam (1994), Xkipché (1995), Uxmal (1992,1996), Culubá (1999-2003), Reconocimiento el Centro del Estado de Yucatán (2005), Cenotes de Mayapán (1997) y desde 996 a la fecha, en diez temporadas de campo del Proyecto Arqueológico Mayapán del Centro INAH Yucatán, también a trabajado para el Proyecto Económico de Mayapán (2001-2004, 2008,2009) de la Universidad de Albany. Así como en diversos rescates y salvamentos.

Fuera de Yucatán colaboró en el proyecto Cuauhtémoc (2003) en la región del Soconusco, Chiapas; Prospección Arqueológica en la Costa de Campeche (2009) y en el proyecto San Estebán (2005,2008) en el Norte de Belice. Recientemente realizó estudios sobre las modas cerámicas de Mayapán y actualmente está investigando aspectos relacionados con la metalurgia prehispánica.

Wilberth Antonio Cruz Alvarado
   

Luis Flores Cobá, Ceramicist

 
Luis Flores

Luis Flores Cobá is a ceramicist who has been working for the INAH Mayapán Project since 1996. Together with Wilberth Cruz Alvarado he has analyzed millions of pottery from Mayapán and the surrounding region. He is also an expert in restoration of ceramic vessels and in archaeological illustration. Luis is from Telchaquillo, Yucatan, located only one kilometer north of the archaeological zone of Mayapán.

   
 

Miguel Delgado Kú, Archaeologist

Miguel Delgado Kú received his liciendo degree from the Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán (Mérida) in 2009 and has assisted with field investigations under the INAH-Mayapan and PEMY projects for the past ten years. He also has worked year-round on salvamento projects across the Yucatan peninsula. His UADY thesis is on the murals of Mayapán in comparative context and is entitled: La Pintura Mural de Mayapán, Yucatán: Una Interpretación Iconográfica (2009). In addition to his expertise as a field archaeologist, Miguel is an expert in Maya art.

Miguel Delgado
   

Elizabeth Paris

Elizabeth Paris

I have been part of the Proyecto Económico de Mayapan through multiple seasons; initially as a laboratory analyst in 2004, then as a suboperation co-director at the H-15 zona de entierros in 2008, and returned during a brief analytical season in February of 2010 to analyze materials from the 2009 field season. I also participated in the Proyecto Mayapan 2005. Most of my publications and conference presentations, including my master's paper and resulting article, have focused on the local metalworking industry at Mayapan. Other publications and presentations on Mayapan materials focused on lithic and shell debitage as specialized craft industries. I also pursue topics such as household craft production and craft specialization, exchange networks at multiple scales, and the spatial organization of urban economies in my doctoral dissertation, focused on the sites of Moxviquil and Huitepec, located in highland Chiapas near the modern city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas.

   

I first visited Mayapán in 1990. I went to study the houselot walls as I was working to formulate my doctoral dissertation research. At the time, the site was largely overgrown and even a little difficult to find. I returned the next year to excavate and stayed for two years, living in the nearby village of Telchaquillo. I later came down and helped out, intermittently, for a couple of seasons during Marilyn Masson’s SUNY Albany project. In the interim, Carlos Peraza of México’s National Institute of Anthropology and History excavated many of the monumental structures in the site center, and the government built a big new road to the site. In 2005, I directed a preliminary archaeological survey of the area around Mayapán to study the settlement patterns. Although I haven’t worked at Mayapán for several years now, I still return to visit my godchildren and compadres in Telchaquillo. I am currently Associate Professor Anthropology at Florida Atlantic University, in Boca Raton, Florida.

Clifford Brown

Clifford Brown

   
   

Susan Milbrath, Director, Independant Resarch at Mayapan

Susan Milbrath

Susan Milbrath is Curator of Latin American Art and Archaeology at the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida. She received her Ph.D. from Columbia University in Art History and Archaeology, and has curated a number of major exhibits including an NEH-funded traveling exhibit featuring her research on archaeoastronomy, which opened at the American Museum of Natural History and traveled across the U.S. She also teaches at the University of Florida, where she is an affiliate Professor of Anthropology. Her recent research focuses on the archaeology and ethnohistory of Mayapan, studying the interface between the archaeological data and the historical records of the early colonial period. She has conducted research on the astronomical orientations of Mayapan in collaboration with Tony Aveni and Carlos Peraza Lope. Currently she is exploring the chronology and symbolism of Mayapan effigy censers in archaeological context, and examining the iconography in relation to deities represented in the Maya codices. She is also researching comparative imagery that links Central Mexico and the Maya area, focusing especially on mural painting. She continues to conduct research Mesoamerican astronomical imagery in a broader context, and has completed a book on the Codex Borgia, a Central Mexican manuscript dating around A.D. 1500, to be published by University of Texas Press.

   
 

Fernando Flores, Foreman, Archaeological Assistant, Mason

Fernando Flores of Telchaquillo, Yucatan, has served as a foreman on the INAH and PEMY Mayapan projects since the late 1990’s. He is one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the community in terms of settlement patterns, architecture, cenotes and caves, as well as local culture and ecology. Staff members of both Mayapan projects have learned a great deal from Fernando. He also works part-time as a guide in the eco-tourism of the Mayapan area.

Fernando Flores
   

Caroline Antonelli, Grad Student

 
Caroline Antonelli

I have been working at Mayapán in association with the PEMY project since 2009. In 2009 I analyzed ceramic standardization of three of the most common ceramic wares found within the site. The data from that season is the basis for my University at Albany Master’s paper entitled: Standardization and Diversity of Pottery Wares at Mayapán. I am currently continuing research at Mayapán for my dissertation research. My dissertation will examine the local and regional environment and the distribution and management of agricultural resources and resources for specialized production at Mayapán. 

   
 

Robert Hutchinson, Grad Student

Robert Hutchinson is a doctoral student at The University at Albany-SUNY. His in-progress dissertation analyzes mortuary patterns at Mayapan and addresses questions of social and stylistic diversity at the city's households, neighborhoods, and public buildings. He received his master's from the University of Colorado - Boulder in 2005 and for his study he analyzed and compared household styles at Ceren, El Salvador, with those from neighboring regions to address questions of ethnicity and affiliation.

Robert Hutchinson
   

Betsy Kohut, Grad Student

 

Betsy Kohut

Betsy Kohut is a PhD student focusing on Maya Archaeology at SUNY Albany.  She worked at Mayapan during the summer of 2009 on the excavation of a lithic workshop in barrio Itzmal Chen, the focus of her masters thesis.  Betsy also participated in the 2004-2008 excavations at Kiuic in the Puuc region of the Yucatan and spent the summer of 2010 analyzing ceramics and running the project's lab. 

   

Jonathan M. White is a Master's student at the University at Albany, focusing on Cypriot and Maya archaeology. He previously participated in the San Estevan Archaeology Project in northern Belize. During the 2009 season, White conducted an analysis of the shell debitage from several structures excavated that season, exploring Mayapan's love for conch and heart cockles. Jonathan's research has shifted to the Old World, where he focuses on trade networks in the eastern Mediterranean and Near East.

Jonathan White, Grad Student

Jonathan White