Alexander J. Martín is an archaeologist whose main research interest lies in the development of prehistoric social institutions to understand how and why human societies became larger and more complex.

Alexander J. MartinMost of his research has taken place in coastal Ecuador where he has carried out surveys and excavations to clarify why populations there changed from small independent villages to large polities with densely packed communities, craft specialists, long-distance trade networks, and powerful ruling elites that looked to expand their territorial control. In particular, he explores the roles that different economic, political, and religious institutions played in these changes.

More recently, he has begun comparing institutional change from coastal Ecuador to that of other prehistoric populations of the Americas so as to recognize broader patterns in social development and evolution.

Martín received his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh and is the current manager of the Comparative Archaeology Database of the Center for Comparative Archaeology.

More information about Prof. Martín's research and publications can be found on his personal web page.