Damien Marken, instructor of anthropology

Damien Marken, instructor of anthropology

Damien Marken

BA University of California Santa Barbara (2000)
MA Universite de Paris I: Panteon-Sorbonne (2002)
MA Southern Methodist University (2004)
PhD Southern Methodist University (2011)



Archaeology, ancient Mesoamerica, urbanism, state formation, organization, and collapse, settlement patterns, household economy, landscape ecology, GIS and remote sensing

Why anthropology?

I am an anthropological archaeologist whose interest in the past began at an early age. Growing up, I frequently visited the ancient cities of the Classic Maya in Guatemala, Belize, and southern Mexico with my parents, particularly the site of Palenque, Chiapas, Mexico (where I eventually worked as an undergraduate and masters student).

As a kid I marveled at the size of the ancient Maya temples and palaces, and wondered how these 1300-year old buildings were still standing. As I got older, I became more interested in the populations living within and around these clearly royal ceremonial centers. How and/or why did local farmers and hinterland leaders buy into such a precarious political and economic system?

How did they participate with and/or resist attempts by Classic period dynasts and other elites in building integrated urban settlement systems that typify the Maya Classic period (250-900 C.E.)?


Marken, Damien B. and James L. Fitzsimmons, editors. In press Classic Maya Polities of the Southern Lowlands: Integration, Interaction, Dissolution. University of Colorado Press, Boulder. Forthcoming, Spring 2015.

Marken, Damien B. In press Sansamal Performance: Variability in Ritual Contexts at El Perú-Waka’. In Archaeology at El Perú-Waka’: Performances of Ritual, Memory and Power, edited by Olivia Navarro-Farr & Michelle Rich. University of Arizona Press, Tucson. (Dec. 2014 release)

Marken, Damien B. and Francisco Castañeda 2014. Sitios Satelitales en la Región de El Perú-Waka’. XXVII Simposio de Investigaciones Arqueológicas en Guatemala, 2013, edited by Bárbara Arroyo, Luis Méndez Salinas, Andrea Rojas, pp. 733-742. IDEAH, Guatemala City.

Gordon Willey 2013. Oxford Bibliographies in Anthropology, edited by John Jackson. Oxford University Press, New York, Oct. 1, 2013.

Marken, Damien B., editor 2007. Palenque: Recent Investigations at the Classic Maya Center. AltaMira Press, New York, NY.