John M. Marston

Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology, Director of Graduate Studies

  • Title Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Anthropology, Director of Graduate Studies
  • 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 two in Israel (the Bronze Age-Medieval sites of Ashkelon and Tel Shimron). Marston’s recent research has been funded by the US National Science Foundation, American Research Institute in Turkey, American Philosophical Society, and Boston University.

Representative Publications

Marston, John M. 2017. Agricultural Sustainability and Environmental Change at Ancient Gordion. University of Pennsylvania Museum Press. Gordion Special Studies 8.

Marston, John M. 2017. “Consequences of agriculture in Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and the Levant,” in Oxford Encyclopedia of Agriculture and the Environment. Edited by Peter Bogucki. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Marston, John M., Simon J. Holdaway, and Willeke Wendrich. 2017. Early and Middle Holocene wood exploitation in the Fayum basin, Egypt. The Holocene 27:1812-1824.

Çakırlar, Canan, and John M. Marston. Rural agricultural economies and military provisioning at Roman Gordion (central Turkey). Environmental Archaeology online before print.

Marston, John M. and Scott Branting. 2016. Agricultural adaptation to highland climate in Iron Age Anatolia. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 9:25-32.

Marston, John M. 2015. Modeling resilience and sustainability in ancient agricultural systems. Journal of Ethnobiology 35:585-605.

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



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