Marilyn Masson

Marilyn A. Masson

Primary Field
Department Chair
Chair and Professor of Archaeology, SUNY, University at Albany, Department of Anthropology
Knowledge / Expertise
Interest/Specialty Areas Archaeology, ancient economies and urbanism, political organization, human ecology, ancient religion, zooarchaeology, lithic analysis

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 worked in and around the late Pre-Columbian (Postclassic) capital city of Mayapan for fifteen years 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.  

Two recent publications include:  

Masson, Marilyn A. and Carlos Peraza Lope 2014 Kukulcan’s Realm: Urban Life at Ancient Mayapan. University Press of Colorado, Boulder. 

 Masson, Marilyn A., David Freidel, and Arthur A. Demarest 2020 The Real Business of Ancient Maya Exchange: From Farmers’ Fields to Rulers’ Realms. University of Florida Press. 

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Geographic Areas of Expertise International
Western Hemisphere
Curriculum Vitae
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