Tropical landscapes and the Ancient Maya: Diversity in time and space

Arlen F. Chase, Lisa J. Lucero, Vernon L. Scarborough, Diane Z. Chase, Rafael Cobos, Nicholas P. Dunning, Scott L. Fedick, Vilma Fialko, Joel D. Gunn, Michelle Hegmon, Gyles Iannone, David L. Lentz, Rodrigo Liendo, Keith Prufer, Jeremy A. Sabloff, Joseph A. Tainter, Fred Valdez, Sander Van Der Leeuw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Archaeologists have begun to understand that many of the challenges facing our technologically sophisticated, resource dependent, urban systems were also destabilizing factors in ancient complex societies. The focus of IHOPE-Maya is to identify how humans living in the tropical Maya Lowlands in present-day Central America responded to and impacted their environments over the past three millennia, and to relate knowledge of those processes to modern and future coupled human-environment systems. To better frame variability in ancient lowland Maya development and decline, the area that they once occupied may be subdivided into a series of geographical regions in which the collected archaeological data can be correlated with environmental differences. Although beginning as small agricultural communities occupying a variety of ecological niches in the humid tropics of Mesoamerica, the ancient Maya became an increasingly complex set of societies involved in intensive and extensive resource exploitation. Their development process was not linear, but also involved periods of rapid growth that were punctuated by contractions. Thus, the long-term development and disintegration of Maya geopolitical institutions presents an excellent vantage from which to study resilience, vulnerability, and the consequences of decision-making in ancient complex societies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-29
Number of pages19
JournalArcheological Papers of the American Anthropological Association
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2014

Fingerprint

society
tropics
Central America
resources
resilience
exploitation
vulnerability
decision making
present
community
time
Ancient Maya
Tropical
Complex Societies
Maya Lowlands
Maya
Resources
Niche
Decision Making
Exploitation

Keywords

  • Archaeology
  • Environment
  • Maya
  • Sustainability
  • Variability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

Cite this

Tropical landscapes and the Ancient Maya : Diversity in time and space. / Chase, Arlen F.; Lucero, Lisa J.; Scarborough, Vernon L.; Chase, Diane Z.; Cobos, Rafael; Dunning, Nicholas P.; Fedick, Scott L.; Fialko, Vilma; Gunn, Joel D.; Hegmon, Michelle; Iannone, Gyles; Lentz, David L.; Liendo, Rodrigo; Prufer, Keith; Sabloff, Jeremy A.; Tainter, Joseph A.; Valdez, Fred; Van Der Leeuw, Sander.

In: Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, Vol. 24, No. 1, 01.03.2014, p. 11-29.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chase, AF, Lucero, LJ, Scarborough, VL, Chase, DZ, Cobos, R, Dunning, NP, Fedick, SL, Fialko, V, Gunn, JD, Hegmon, M, Iannone, G, Lentz, DL, Liendo, R, Prufer, K, Sabloff, JA, Tainter, JA, Valdez, F & Van Der Leeuw, S 2014, 'Tropical landscapes and the Ancient Maya: Diversity in time and space', Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association, vol. 24, no. 1, pp. 11-29. https://doi.org/10.1111/apaa.12026
Chase, Arlen F. ; Lucero, Lisa J. ; Scarborough, Vernon L. ; Chase, Diane Z. ; Cobos, Rafael ; Dunning, Nicholas P. ; Fedick, Scott L. ; Fialko, Vilma ; Gunn, Joel D. ; Hegmon, Michelle ; Iannone, Gyles ; Lentz, David L. ; Liendo, Rodrigo ; Prufer, Keith ; Sabloff, Jeremy A. ; Tainter, Joseph A. ; Valdez, Fred ; Van Der Leeuw, Sander. / Tropical landscapes and the Ancient Maya : Diversity in time and space. In: Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association. 2014 ; Vol. 24, No. 1. pp. 11-29.
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