Marilyn A. Masson

Marilyn A. Masson

Professor and Chair
Department of Anthropology
CV277.04 KB


Arts & Sciences Building, Room 109

PhD, University of Texas, 1993 

Marilyn Masson

Dr. Marilyn Masson is a historical anthropologist and archaeologist whose current research projects focus on the archaeology of Colonial encounters in Yucatan, Mexico, and Albany, New York. Her research generally focuses on the archaeology of the majority, particularly the study of daily life, social diversity, and household economies of ordinary people in urban as well as rural settings. In Mexico, she collaborates with an international team of researchers and local assistants. They have worked in and around the late Pre-Columbian (Postclassic) capital city of Mayapan since 2001 and have recently expanded to regional investigations of changing settlement and demographic patterns through time that attest to cycles of climatic crisis, resilience, and societal reconstitution. This team has also begun research in the Colonial period at two remote, rural Maya mission towns of sixteenth-century date. In Albany, Dr. Masson collaborates with the New York State Museum to investigate the lifeways and social agency of African Americans of the city during the 1800s, including enslaved persons and activists engaged in aiding freedom seekers in the context of the Underground Railroad.
Her most recent books include Kukulcan’s Realm: Urban Life at Ancient Mayapan (with Carlos Peraza Lope, 2014, University Press of Colorado, Boulder), The Real Business of Ancient Maya Exchange: From Farmers’ Fields to Rulers’ Realms (co-edited with David Freidel, and Arthur A. Demarest, 2020 University of Florida Press), and Settlement, Economy, and Society at Mayapan, Yucatan, Mexico (co-edited with Timothy Hare, Carlos Peraza, and Bradley Russell, 2021, University of Pittsburgh Center for Comparative Archaeology).