John M. Marston

Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology

  • Title Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • Office Room 345F
  • Phone (617) 353-2357
  • Education Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2010

Curriculum Vitae


Environmental Archaeology Laboratory

Areas of Interest

environmental archaeology; sustainability and resilience; agricultural risk management; archaeology of the Mediterranean, Near East, and central Asia; ecological and social theory; plant ecology; archaeological science; writing pedagogy

Excavations and Fieldwork

As an environmental archaeologist, John M. Marston studies the long-term sustainability of agriculture and land use, especially in the Mediterranean and western Asia. His research focuses on how people make decisions about land use within changing economic, social, and environmental settings, and how those decisions affect the environment at local and regional scales. A specialist in paleoethnobotany, the study of archaeological plant remains, Marston’s contributions to the field include novel ways of linking ecological theory with archaeological methods to reconstruct agricultural and land-use strategies from plant and animal remains. Recent interdisciplinary collaborations focus on comparative study of cultural adaptation to environmental and climate change in the past and present. His current field projects include work at three urban centers in Turkey (the Bronze Age site of Kaymakçı, the Iron Age site of Kerkenes, and the Bronze Age-Medieval site of Gordion) and one in Israel (the Bronze Age-Medieval site of Ashkelon). Marston’s recent research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, Council of American Overseas Research Centers, American Philosophical Society, and Boston University.

Representative Publications

Marston, John M., Jade d’Alpoim Guerdes, and Christiana Warinner (editors). 2014. Method and Theory in Paleoethnobotany. University Press of Colorado, in press.

Brite, Elizabeth Baker, and John M. Marston. 2013. Environmental change, agricultural innovation, and the spread of cotton agriculture in the Old World. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 32:39-53.

Marston, John M. 2012. Agricultural strategies and political economy in ancient Anatolia. American Journal of Archaeology 116:377-403.

Miller, Naomi F., and John M. Marston. 2012. Archaeological fuel remains as indicators of ancient West Asian agropastoral and land-use systems. Journal of Arid Environments 86:97-103.

Marston, John M. 2011. Archaeological markers of agricultural risk management. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 30:190-205.

Marston, John M. 2009. Modeling wood acquisition strategies from archaeological charcoal remains. Journal of Archaeological Science 36:2192-2200.


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