Search results for: the-great-maya-droughts-in-cultural-context

The Great Maya Droughts in Cultural Context

Author : Gyles Iannone
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In The Great Maya Droughts in Cultural Context, contributors reject the popularized link between societal collapse and drought in Maya civilization, arguing that a series of periodic “collapses,” including the infamous Terminal Classic collapse (AD 750–1050), were not caused solely by climate change–related droughts but by a combination of other social, political, and environmental factors. New and senior scholars of archaeology and environmental science explore the timing and intensity of droughts and provide a nuanced understanding of socio-ecological dynamics, with specific reference to what makes communities resilient or vulnerable when faced with environmental change. Contributors recognize the existence of four droughts that correlate with periods of demographic and political decline and identify a variety of concurrent political and social issues. They argue that these primary underlying factors were exacerbated by drought conditions and ultimately led to societal transitions that were by no means uniform across various sites and subregions. They also deconstruct the concept of “collapse” itself—although the line of Maya kings ended with the Terminal Classic collapse, the Maya people and their civilization survived. The Great Maya Droughts in Cultural Context offers new insights into the complicated series of events that impacted the decline of Maya civilization. This significant contribution to our increasingly comprehensive understanding of ancient Maya culture will be of interest to students and scholars of archaeology, anthropology, geography, and environmental studies.

The Maya Forest Garden

Author : Anabel Ford
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The conventional wisdom says that the devolution of Classic Maya civilization occurred because its population grew too large and dense to be supported by primitive neotropical farming methods, resulting in debilitating famines and internecine struggles. Using research on contemporary Maya farming techniques and important new archaeological research, Ford and Nigh refute this Malthusian explanation of events in ancient Central America and posit a radical alternative theory. The authors-show that ancient Maya farmers developed ingenious, sustainable woodland techniques to cultivate numerous food plants (including the staple maize);-examine both contemporary tropical farming techniques and the archaeological record (particularly regarding climate) to reach their conclusions;-make the argument that these ancient techniques, still in use today, can support significant populations over long periods of time.

Megadrought and Collapse

Author : Harvey Weiss
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Megadrought and Collapse is the first book to treat in one volume the current paleoclimatic and archaeological evidence of megadrought events coincident with major prehistoric and historical examples of societal collapse. Previous works have offered multi-causal explanations for collapse, from overpopulation, overexploitation of resources, and warfare to poor leadership and failure to adapt to environmental changes. In earlier synthetic studies of major instances of collapse, the full force of climate change has often not been considered. This volume includes nine case studies that span the globe and stretch over fourteen thousand years, from the paleolithic hunter-gatherer collapse of the 12th millennium BC to the 15th century AD fall of the Khmer capital at Angkor. Together, the studies constitute a primary sourcebook in which principal investigators in archaeology and paleoclimatology present their original research. Each case study juxtaposes the latest paleoclimatic evidence of megadrought (so-called for its severity and its decades - to centuries-long duration) with available archaeological records of synchronous societal collapse. The megadrought data are derived from all five archival paleoclimate proxy sources: speleothems (cave stalagmites), tree rings, and lake, marine, and glacial cores. The archaeological records in each case are the most recently retrieved. With Megadrought and Collapse, Harvey Weiss and his team of expert contributors have assembled an authoritative investigation that is certain to engage environmental history readers across disciplines in the sciences and social sciences.

Climate Changes in the Holocene

Author : Eustathios Chiotis
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This book highlights climate as a complex physical, chemical, biological, and geological system, in perpetual change, under astronomical, predominantly, solar control. It has been shaped to some degree through the past glaciation cycles repeated in the last three million years. The Holocene, the current interglacial epoch which started ca. 11,700 years ago, marks the transition from the Stone Age to the unprecedented cultural evolution of our civilization. Significant climate changes have been recorded in natural archives during the Holocene, including the rapid waning of ice sheets, millennial shifting of the monsoonal fringe in the northern hemisphere, and abrupt centennial events. A typical case of severe environmental change is the greening of Sahara in the Early Holocene and the gradual desertification again since the fifth millennium before present. Climate Changes in the Holocene: Impact, Adaptation, and Resilience investigates the impact of natural climate changes on humans and civilization through case studies from various places, periods, and climates. Earth and human society are approached as a complex system, thereby emphasizing the necessity to improve adaptive capacity in view of the anthropogenic global warming and ecosystem degradation. Features: Written by distinguished experts, the book presents the fundamentals of the climate system, the unparalleled progress achieved in the last decade in the fields of intensified research for improved understanding of the carbon cycle, climate components, and their interaction. Presents the application of paleoclimatology and modeling in climate reconstruction. Examines the new era of satellite-based climate monitoring and the prospects of reduced carbon dioxide emissions.

Archaeological Investigations in the Eastern Maya Lowlands

Author : Jaime J. Awe
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Dissertation Abstracts International

Author :
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Ritual Violence and the Fall of the Classic Maya Kings

Author : Gyles Iannone
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Maya kings who failed to ensure the prosperity of their kingdoms were subject to various forms of termination, including the ritual defacing and destruction of monuments and even violent death. This is the first comprehensive volume to focus on the varied responses to the failure of Classic period dynasties in the southern lowlands. The contributors offer new insights into the Maya "collapse," evaluating the trope of the scapegoat king and the demise of the traditional institution of kingship in the early ninth century AD--a time of intense environmental, economic, social, political, and even ideological change. Contributors: Palma J. Buttles- Arthur A. Demarest- Hector Escobedo- David Freidel- Charles Golden- Thomas H. Guderjan- C. Colleen Hanratty- Eleanor Harrison-Buck- Brett A. Houk- Stephen D. Houston- Gyles Iannone- Takeshi Inomata- Melanie Kingsley- Olivia C. Navarro-Farr- Claudia Quintanilla- Andrew K. Scherer- Sonja A. Schwake- José Samuel Suasnavar- Christopher Taylor- Fred Valdez Jr. A volume in the series Maya Studies, edited by Diane Z. Chase and Arlen F. Chase

The Years Without Summer

Author : Joel Gunn
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Tree-rings worldwide and other evidence record an almost catastrophic change in the environment during the middle years of the 6th century AD. This supports the writings of Cassiodorus in Roman Italy and other writers across the world who all documented darkness, drought and cold at this time; in AD 541 hunger, disease and warfare killed much of Europe's population. This collection of 16 essays shows how a worldwide event leaves evidence in the archaeological record and examines what actually happened and the dramatic political, economic, climactic and environmental repurcussions across Europe, America and Africa.

Journal of Field Arfchaeology

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Maya Zooarchaeology

Author : Kitty F. Emery
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Maya Zooarchaeology: New Directions in Method and Theory, edited by Kitty F. Emery, explores the latest research on the complex relationship between the ancient Maya and their animal neighbors. This comprehensive work combines fundamental zooarchaeological data from sites across the Maya world with critical histories and state-of-the-art summaries of the modern methods and theoretical perspectives of Maya zooarchaeology. The contributing authors emphasize new developments in technical methods, recent trends in Mesoamerican "social zooarchaeology," and new interpretations enhanced by the regional scope of modern zooarchaeological investigations in the Maya world. The volume fosters cooperation among Mesoamerican zooarchaeologists and archaeologists, from first recovery and analysis through final theoretical reconstruction.

El Ni o Catastrophism and Culture Change in Ancient America

Author : David Hodell
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This book summarizes research on the nature of El Niño events in the Americas and details specific historic and prehistoric patterns in Peru and elsewhere.

The Collapse of Palatial Society in LBA Greece and the Postpalatial Period

Author : Guy D. Middleton
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The collapse of palatial society at the end of the Greek Bronze Age in c.1200 BC has long been a subject of fascination and contention.

The Modern Maya

Author : Macduff Everton
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Modern Maya strive to maintain their culture and way of life despite centuries of political, social, and environmental disruption. The author/photographer shows the homes and lives of farmers and chicle gatherers, ranch hands and henequen workers, as well as the Mayan-speaking urbanites who work at the resorts on the Riviera Maya. A way of life that was centered around the milpa (farm) and the cultivation of tropical forest products has been transformed by the effects of NAFTA, tourism, the evangelical movement, world trade and maquiladoras, racism, sexism, and drugs.

British Bulletin of Publications on Latin America the Caribbean Portugal and Spain

Author :
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Abstracts of the Annual Meeting

Author : American Anthropological Association
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Climates Landscapes and Civilizations

Author : Liviu Giosan
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Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Geophysical Monograph Series, Volume 198. Climates, Landscapes, and Civilizations brings together a collection of studies on the history of complex interrelationships between humans and their environment by integrating Earth science with archeology and anthropology. At a time when climate change, overpopulation, and scarcity of resources are increasingly affecting our ways of life, the lessons of the past provide multiple reference frames that are valuable for informing our future decisions and action plans. Volume highlights include discussions of multiple connotations of the Anthropocene, landscapes as a link between climate and humans, synoptic approaches to explore large-scale cultural patterns, regional studies for contextualizing cultural complexity, and environmental determinism and social theory. Straddling the fields of Earth sciences, anthropology, and archaeology and presenting research from across several continents, Climates, Landscapes, and Civilizations will appeal to a wide readership among scientists, scholars, and the public at large.

The Way the Wind Blows

Author : Roderick J. McIntosh
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Scientists and policymakers are beginning to understand in ever-increasing detail that environmental problems cannot be understood solely through the biophysical sciences. Environmental issues are fundamentally human issues and must be set in the context of social, political, cultural, and economic knowledge. The need both to understand how human beings in the past responded to climatic and other environmental changes and to synthesize the implications of these historical patterns for present-day sustainability spurred a conference of the world's leading scholars on the topic. The Way the Wind Blows is the rich result of that conference. Articles discuss the dynamics of climate, human perceptions of and responses to the environment, and issues of sustainability and resiliency. These themes are illustrated through discussions of human societies around the world and throughout history.

Abstracts of the Annual Meeting American Anthropological Association

Author : American Anthropological Association
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Urbanism in the Preindustrial World

Author : Glenn Storey
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A baseline study of the growth of preindustrial cities worldwide. This work employs a subset of preindustrial cities on many continents to answer questions archaeologists grapple with concerning the populating and growth of cities before industrialization. It further explores how scholars differently conceive and execute their research on the population of cities. The subject cities are in Greece, Mesoamerica, the Andes, Italy, Egypt, Africa, United States, Denmark, and China. This broad sample provides a useful framework for answers to such questions as “Why did people agglomerate into cities?” and “What population size and what age of endurance constitute a city?” The study covers more than population magnitude and population makeup, the two major frameworks of urban demography. The contributors combine their archaeological and historical expertise to reveal commonalities, as well as theoretical extrapolations and methodological approaches, at work here and outside the sample. Urbanism in the Preindustrial World is a unique study revealing the variety of factors involved in the coalescing and dispersal of populations in preindustrial times.

Cultural Anthropology

Author : Barbara D. Miller
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A lively and attractive introductory text for courses in cultural anthropology, covering both Western and non-Western cultures. Special attention is given to social inequality and diversity, and contemporary change in the US and around the world. There are unique chapters on medical anthropology and