Research interests: Comparative states, chiefdoms; early villages and household archaeology; origins of complexity and hereditary inequality; writing systems; gender, craft specialization; urbanism; political economy
Joyce Marcus works on cycles of change in chiefly societies, first- and second-generation states, as well as expansionist empires. She combines ethnohistory, ethnography, art, and hieroglyphic writing to shed light on ancient societies. She has excavated in the USA, Mexico, Guatemala, and Peru.
Archaic States (co-ed. with Gary M. Feinman)
Mesoamerican Writing Systems
Emblem and State in the Classic Maya Lowlands
Excavations at Cerro Azul, Peru: The Architecture and Pottery