Jessica Munson

Postdoctoral Researcher

I am an anthropological archaeologist who studies the development of religious and political institutions in prehispanic Maya society.  I am particularly interested in the ways group cooperation and competition at the household and community level intersected with the establishment of institutionalized beliefs, practices, and roles in Preclassic Maya society (ca. 1000 BCE–250 CE).  My dissertation (Ph.D., University of Arizona 2012) examines the architectural history and community practices associated with monumental construction projects at Caobal, a minor center in the Pasión region of Guatemala.  I have also used Maya hieroglyphic texts and social network analysis to examine changing sociopolitical relationships between Classic Maya polities.  Currently, I am studying how group dynamics and demography contributed to the evolution of prehispanic Maya religion.