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Timothy M. Murtha

Timothy M. Murtha

Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture

Stuckeman School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

419 Stuckeman Family Building
University Park , PA 16802
Office Phone: (814) 865-9511


  1. 1994 B.A., Anthropology, University of Central Florida
  2. 1997 M.A., Anthropology, Penn State University
  3. 2002 Ph.D., Anthropology, Penn State University


Research Interests:

Settlement Patterns, Settlement Ecology, Demography and Landscape Archaeology
GIS, Integrated Modeling, and Spatial Analysis
Mesoamerica (lowland Maya) and Northern Europe (Orkney, Scotland)


Field Work:

North Orkney Population History Project  - Orkney, Scotland: 2004 to present*
Tikal Earthwork and Regional Settlement – Tikal, Guatemala: 2003 to present*
*indicates NSF supported fieldwork


Courses Taught:

LARCH 502 – Graduate Research Design and Methods
LARCH 450 – Geospatial Design and Planning
LARCH 501 – Landscape Architecture History Graduate Seminar
LARCH 510/424 – Seminar: Population and Landscape History in Lowland Central America


Select Publications and Presentations:

Murtha, Timothy, Richard Hammond, Brian Orland and Lacey Goldberg. 2015. Probabilistic Modelling and Complex Energy Landscape Design and Planning: an experimental approach. Proceedings of Digital Landscape Architecture Conference 2015 at Bernburg. Ed by, Erich Buhmann. Anhalt University of Applied Sciences. Wichmann/VDE Publisher Berlin and Offenbach and Berlin.


Murtha, Timothy. 2015. Negotiated Landscapes: Comparative Settlement Ecology of Tikal and Caracol. In Ancient Maya Polities. ed by D. Marken and J. Fitzpatrick. University of Colorado Press.


Webster, David and Timothy Murtha. 2015. Fractious Farmers at Tikal. In Tikal and Maya Paleoecology ed by David Lentz. Cambridge University Press.


Cyphers, Ann and Timothy Murtha. 2014. Early Olmec Spaces at San Lorenzo, Vera Cruz. In Mesoamerican Plazas: Arenas of Community Building and Power Negotiation. ed by Kenchiro Tsukamoto and Takeshi Inomata. University of Arizona Press.


Balzotti, Chris, David L. Webster, Tim M. Murtha, Steven L. Petersen, Richard L. Burnett, Richard E. Terry. 2013. Modelling the ancient maize agriculture potential of landforms in Tikal National Park, Guatemala. International Journal of Remote Sensing. Vol. 34, Iss. 16: 5868 – 5891.


Burnett, R.L., Terry, R.E., Sweetwood, R.V., Murtha, T., Webster, D., Silverstein, J. 2012. Upland and lowland soil resources of the ancient Maya at Tikal, Guatemala, Soil Science Society of America Journal Vol. 76 No. 6, p. 2083-2096.


Burnett, R.L., Terry, R.E., Alvarez, M., Balzotti, C., Murtha, T., Webster, D., Silverstein, J. 2012. The ancient agricultural landscape of the satellite settlement of Ramonal near Tikal, Guatemala, Quarternary International 265, 101-115.


Murtha, Timothy. 2009. Land and Labor: Classic Maya Agriculture at Caracol, Belize.  VDM-VERLAG, Berlin ISBN: 978-3639047721.

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