Masson, Marilyn 1958-

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MASSON, Marilyn 1958-


Born October 5, 1958, in Hancock, MI; daughter of George (a military officer) and Hazel (a secretary; maiden name, Cartwright) Andrews; married Robert Rosenswig (an archeologist), May, 1997; children: Alec, Annika. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Texas at Austin, Ph.D., 1993. Politics: "Liberal."


Home—Albany, NY. Office—Department of Anthropology, AS 237, University of Albany-SUNY, Albany, NY 12222. Agent—c/o Mitch Allen, AltaMira Press, 1630 North Main St., Ste. 367, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. E-mail—[email protected].


University of Albany, State University of New York, assistant professor, 1996-2002, associate professor of archeology, 2002—.


Society for American Archaeology.


Teaching Excellence award, University of Albany, State University of New York, 2002.


In the Realm of Nachan Kan: Postclassic Maya Archaeology at Lagune de On, Belize, University Press of Colorado (Boulder, CO), 2000.

(Editor, with David A. Freidel) Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica: A Reader, Blackwell (Malden, MA), 2000.

(Editor, with David A. Freidel) Ancient Maya Political Economies, AltaMira Press (Walnut Creek, CA), 2002.

Contributor of articles to archaeological journals.


Kukulkan's Realm: The Post-classic Maya City of Mayapan and The Economic Foundations of Mayapan Project (field research project in Yucatan, Mexico).


A professor of archeology and a field researcher specializing in the cultures of Central America, Marilyn Masson has published several books about the archeology of Mayan communities in Belize. In addition to editing two collections of essays, she published In the Realm of Nachan Kan: Postclassic Maya Archaeology at Laguna de On, Belize. She reports on the field research she and colleagues have conducted over a decade and on which she based her doctoral dissertation. "The straightforward, no-nonsense style of writing that one would expect in a dissertation dominates here, resulting in a very thorough presentation of the available data without needless speculation," noted Craig Goralski in Latin American Antiquity. Among the aspects Masson considers in this work are the economic, social, and political interactions of members of Laguna de On and neighboring villages. Masson proposes that single sites like this one on the Yucatan peninsula may have significantly contributed to the creation of regional political, religious, and economic systems. Although Goralski suggested that "this book could have benefited from a different organization scheme," he described it as "valuable reading for those studying the Maya Post-classic period, the prehistory of the eastern Yucatan Peninsula, and issues of state formation."

Masson told CA: "I have always been fascinated with the preindustrial world. Archeology allows me to contribute to recovering knowledge about past lifeways. Writing is a process that brings the results of months of archeological fieldwork and analysis together in a synthetic, interpretive form. I desire to know not only how ancient civilizations were different from contemporary industrial societies, but also how they were similar. The latter has been more commonly overlooked in the literature of anthropology and history. For this reason I am drawn to study the post-classic Maya, a highly mercantile society that had far-reaching economic and political contacts with other cultures. This period is analogous in many interesting ways to powerful early merchant societies known from the Old World."



Antiquity, June, 2000, N. James, review of Ancient Civilizations of Mesoamerica: A Reader, p. 433; March, 2003, review of Ancient Maya Political Economies, pp. 187-188.

Latin American Antiquity, December, 2003, Craig Goralski, review of In the Realm of Nachan Kan: Postclassic Maya Archaeology at Laguna de On, Belize, pp. 501-502.


State University of New York at Albany Web site, (June 9, 2004), "Marilyn A. Masson."*