Marijke Stoll

About Marijke Stoll

Saludos! I am a PhD candidate in Archaeology at the University of Arizona. For the past 8 years my research has centered on ballcourts and the Mesoamerican ballgame, particularly those ballgame traditions that existed in prehispanic Oaxaca. In particular I focus on the role of the ballgame in the formation and negotiation of community and social identity, particularly in multiethnic and multilingual frontier zones.This past summer I conducted field research in the region of Nejapa, Oaxaca, Mexico. There I mapped with a total station 14 recently documented ballcourts. The mapping data will be analyzed along with previously collected survey and excavation data to evaluate the hypothesis that the ballgame was a key tool for local communities to navegate a changing sociopolitical landscape in the Postclassic (AD 1000-1521) period. To contextualize the archaeological data and better understand the patterns we observe in the material record, I conducted ethnographic fieldwork with players of the modern ballgame Pelota Mixteca (Mixtec ball) throughout the state.

Currently I am in the process of analyzing the data and writing up the research for my dissertation. If you see me in my office, feel to interrupt me, I probably need the break.


Areas of Study

Prehispanic Oaxaca

Mexico & Mesoamerica


2015 - Proyecto Arqueológico Juegos de Pelota Nejapa/Tavela (PANT)


Research Interests

Generally my research interests are the archaeology of ritual and religion,  politics and power, spatial theory, landscape theory, and the application of said theories to archaeological questions.

Currently I am working on writing my dissertation, in which I explore recently discovered ballcourts in the Nejapa region of Oaxaca. Before the arrival of Dr. Stacie King (University of Indiana-Bloomington) and the Proyecto Arqueológico Nejapa/Tavela, no archaeological research had been carried out in the area. Therefore, these ballcourts are practically unknown to Mesoamerican scholarship. The Nejapa area is a fascinating place to study because it was occupied by multiple, distinct sociopolitical communities that were possibly also different ethnic and/or sociolinguistic groups. My dissertation research will be the first to fully explore and describe the ballcourts, the majority of which we believe were constructed during the politically volatile Postclassic period (AD 1000-1521).

Marijke Stoll's picture

Contact Information

Teaching Assisstant
Office: 408A


In progress: PhD, Archaeology, University of Arizona
2006: AM, Social Sciences, University of Chicago
2005: AB, Anthropology, University of Chicago