Prof. Joyce Marcus first U-M woman elected to National Academy of Sciences

May 1, 1997

ANN ARBOR—University of Michigan anthropologist Joyce P. Marcus has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. She is the first U-M woman faculty member to be so named.

Election to membership in the Academy, in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer.

“Joyce Marcus is one of the world’s foremost anthropological archaeologists focusing on Mesoamerica (Mexico, Guatemala and Belize),” says Conrad P. Kottak, chair of the U-M Department of Anthropology. “She is especially well known for her work on Maya writing systems. She has worked and taught on the prehistory of diverse areas including Mesoamerica, Peru, and Egypt. She is one of the most distinguished members of our top-ranked faculty.”

Marcus, professor of anthropology and curator of Latin American archaeology at the U-M Museum of Anthropology, is the author of “Mesoamerican Writing Systems: Propaganda, Myth, and History in Four Ancient Civilizations,” among many other publications.

Marcus, who joined Michigan in 1985, received a Ph.D. degree in anthropology from Harvard University in 1974. She received a Henry Russel Award from the U-M in 1979 and a Literature, Science & Arts Excellence in Research Award in 1995.

Among the books Marcus has authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited are “Emblem and State in the Classic Maya Lowlands: An Epigraphic Approach to Territorial Organization”; “The Cloud People: Divergent Evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec Civilizations”; “The Flocks of the Wamani: A Study of Llama Herders on the Punas of Ayachucho, Peru”; and “Zapotec Civilization: How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico’s Oaxaca Valley.”

National Academy of Sciences