Paleoecology of an Ancient Maya City
- David L. Lentz, University of Cincinnati
- Nicholas P. Dunning, University of Cincinnati
- Vernon L. Scarborough, University of Cincinnati
The primary theoretical question addressed in this book focuses on the lingering concern of how the ancient Maya in the northern Petén Basin were able to sustain large populations in the midst of a tropical forest environment during the Late Classic period. This book asks how agricultural intensification was achieved and how essential resources, such as water and forest products, were managed in both upland areas and seasonal wetlands, or bajos. All of these activities were essential components of an initially sustainable land use strategy that eventually failed to meet the demands of an escalating population. This spiraling disconnect with sound ecological principles undoubtedly contributed to the Maya collapse. The book's findings provide insights that broaden the understanding of the rise of social complexity - the expansion of the political economy, specifically - and, in general terms, the trajectory of cultural evolution of the ancient Maya civilization.Read more
- Addresses key questions about Maya sustainability and agriculture in the Late Classic period
- QR codes throughout provide links to external resources
- Research includes a video showing a 3-D representation of the development of Tikal from a small village during the Pre-Classic period to a city during the Late Classic period
Reviews & endorsements
'This interdisciplinary study blends agroforestry and hydroarchaeology to show culture and nature interacting in the florescence and fall of a great Maya city. Rarely has the engineered environment of an ancient community been analyzed in such scrupulous detail: Tikal's temples and their socioeconomic foundations are, we now perceive, equally impressive.' Norman Hammond, University of CambridgeSee more reviews
'This impressive volume documents the results of the University of Cincinnati Archaeological Project at Tikal … This book would make an excellent case study for courses in environmental archaeology or historical ecology.' Natalie G. Mueller, Economic Botany
'… Tikal: Paleoecology of an Ancient Maya City represents an outstanding contribution to the social sciences and provides a serious example of effective interdisciplinary research in archaeology. … With Lentz, Dunning, and Scarborough's new volume, a group of innovative scholars have made Tikal an exemplary test case for historical ecology.' Latin American Antiquity
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- Date Published: February 2015
- format: Adobe eBook Reader
- isbn: 9781316056189
- contains: 57 b/w illus. 15 maps
- availability: This ISBN is for an eBook version which is distributed on our behalf by a third party.
Table of Contents
1. Tikal land, water, and forest: an introduction Nicholas P. Dunning, David L. Lentz and Vernon L. Scarborough
2. The evolution of an ancient waterworks system at Tikal Vernon L. Scarborough and Liwy Grazioso Sierra
3. At the core of Tikal: terrestrial sediment sampling and water management Brian Lane, Vernon L. Scarborough and Nicholas P. Dunning
4. Bringing the University of Pennsylvania maps of Tikal into the era of electronic GIS Christopher Carr, Eric Weaver, Nicholas P. Dunning and Vernon L. Scarborough
5. Examining landscape modifications for water management at Tikal using three-dimensional modeling with Arcgis .91 Eric Weaver, Christopher Carr, Nicholas P. Dunning, Lee Florea and Vernon L. Scarborough
6. Life on the edge: Tikal in a bajo landscape Nicholas P. Dunning, Robert E. Griffin, John G. Jones, Richard E. Terry, Zachary Larsen and Christopher Carr
7. Connecting contemporary ecology and ethnobotany to ancient plant use practices of the Maya at Tikal Kim Thompson, Angela Hood, Dana Cavallaro and David L. Lentz
8. Agroforestry and agricultural practices of the ancient Maya at Tikal David L. Lentz, Kevin Magee, Eric Weaver, John G. Jones, Kenneth B. Tankersley, Angela Hood, Gerald Islebe, Carmen Ramos and Nicholas P. Dunning
9. Fire and water: the archaeological significance of Tikal's Quaternary sediments Kenneth Tankersley, Nicholas P. Dunning, Vernon L. Scarborough, John Jones, Christopher Carr and David L. Lentz
10. Fractious farmers at Tikal David Webster and Timothy Murtha
11. The material culture of Tikal Palma Buttles, Carmen Ramos and Fred Valdez, Jr
12. A neighborly view: water and environmental history of the El Zotz region Timothy Beach, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Jonathan Flood, Stephen Houston, Thomas Garrison, Edwin Román, Steve Bozarth and James Doyle
13. Defining the constructed niche of Tikal: a summary view David L. Lentz, Nicholas P. Dunnin and Vernon L. Scarborough.
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