Ancient Maya Wetland Agriculture

Ancient Maya Wetland Agriculture

Author: Mary Deland Pohl

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9780429712142

Category: Social Science

Page: 470

View: 913

Changes in the orientation of archaeological research in the post-World War n period affected Maya studies. The cultural ecological perspective, which was rising to prominence, put an old debate in bold relief: How had this prehistoric civilization adapted to the tropical forest environment? How could swidden cultivation have sustained the unexpectedly high population densities that settlement pattern studies appeared to be revealing? Had the ancient Maya practiced some from of intensive agriculture? Archaeologist Dennis E. Puleston went to the Maya Lowlands to investigate geographer Alfred H. Siemens's reports of possible intensive agriculture ("ridged fields") seen from the air and to study prehistoric Maya cultivation and civilization from a cultural ecological perspective. This volume presents the results of the Rio Hondo Project field research on Albion Island in northern Belize from 1973 to 1980 with the addition of selected results from Pohl's continuing work in northern Belize.

Human Activities and the Tropical Rainforest

Human Activities and the Tropical Rainforest

Author: Bernard K. Maloney

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 9789401718004

Category: Science

Page: 206

View: 738

Arising initially from a conference, the papers published here have been integrated into book form to provide information on human activities and the tropical rainforest in the past and present, and on the possible future of the rainforest, in a unique way. Other books have considered some, but not all, of these themes; however, none has stressed the continuity of change over time and its possible outcome for the people of the forest as well as for the forest itself. Because of the approach taken, this book should appeal across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Indeed a prime aim has been to suggest that rainforest, because of its complexity and the complexity of people-rainforest relationships throughout time, deserves study from a broad perspective. This book poses more questions than answers about the rainforest and it is hoped that it will encourage readers to think about the rainforest in a wider way than hitherto. This book is aimed at geographers (physical and human), social anthropologists, archaeologists, pedologists, foresters and tropical botanists and will be of value to graduates of various disciplines setting out to research the rainforest.

Once Beneath The Forest

Once Beneath The Forest

Author: Bl Turner Ii

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781000307498

Category: Political Science

Page: 211

View: 166

My interest in ancient Maya agriculture began late in the year of 1971 when William M. Denevan encouraged me to pursue the topic. Our interests had been perked by reports from Joseph W. Ball, JaCk Eaton, and Irwin Rovner of the presence of terrace-like features throughout the Rio Bee region of the soutnern Yucatan Peninsula. Denevan maintained a long-term interest in pre-Hispanic agriculture and population in the New World. Our studies with the emerging Rio Bee research group at the University of Wisconsin led to the conclusion that the then dominant themes of Maya agriculture were in need of reevaluation and that a number of remains of intensive forms of agriculture were likely to be found in the Central Maya lowlands of Mexico, Peten (Guatemala), and Belize, particularly wetland or raised fields in addition to the reported terraces. Our interests were heightened at this time by notification from Alfred Siemens of the finds of wetland fields in the vicinity of the Rio Bee region in the Chetumal, Mexico-northern Belize area.

The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory

The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory

Author: Graeme Barker

Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand

ISBN: 9780199559954

Category: History

Page: 598

View: 762

Addressing one of the most debated revolutions in the history of our species, the change from hunting and gathering to farming, this title takes a global view, and integrates an array of information from archaeology and many other disciplines, including anthropology, botany, climatology, genetics, linguistics, and zoology.

Canal Irrigation in Prehistoric Mexico

Canal Irrigation in Prehistoric Mexico

Author: William E. Doolittle

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 9780292729537

Category: Social Science

Page: 219

View: 287

Prehistoric farmers in Mexico invented irrigation, developed it into a science, and used it widely. Indeed, many of the canal systems still in use in Mexico today were originally begun well before the discovery of the New World. In this comprehensive study, William E. Doolittle synthesizes and extensively analyzes all that is currently known about the development and use of irrigation technology in prehistoric Mexico from about 1200 B.C. until the Spanish conquest in the sixteenth century A.D. Unlike authors of previous studies who have focused on the political, economic, and social implications of irrigation, Doolittle considers it in a developmental context. He examines virtually all the known systems, from small canals that diverted runoff from ephemeral mountain streams to elaborate networks that involved numerous large canals to irrigate broad valley floors with water from perennial rivers. Throughout the discussion, he gives special emphasis to the technological elaborations that distinguish each system from its predecessors. He also traces the spread of canal technology into and through different ecological settings. This research substantially clarifies the relationship between irrigation technology in Mexico and the American Southwest and argues persuasively that much of the technology that has been attributed to the Spaniards was actually developed in Mexico by indigenous people. These findings will be important not only for archaeologists working in this area but also for geographers, historians, and engineers interested in agriculture, technology, and arid lands.

Ten Thousand Years of Cultivation at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea

Ten Thousand Years of Cultivation at Kuk Swamp in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea

Author: Jack Golson

Publisher: ANU Press

ISBN: 9781760461164

Category: Social Science

Page: 512

View: 333

Kuk is a settlement at c. 1600 m altitude in the upper Wahgi Valley of the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea, near Mount Hagen, the provincial capital. The site forms part of the highland spine that runs for more than 2500 km from the western head of the island of New Guinea to the end of its eastern tail. Until the early 1930s, when the region was first explored by European outsiders, it was thought to be a single, uninhabited mountain chain. Instead, it was found to be a complex area of valleys and basins inhabited by large populations of people and pigs, supported by the intensive cultivation of the tropical American sweet potato on the slopes above swampy valley bottoms. With the end of World War II, the area, with others, became a focus for the development of coffee and tea plantations, of which the establishment of Kuk Research Station was a result. Large-scale drainage of the swamps produced abundant evidence in the form of stone axes and preserved wooden digging sticks and spades for their past use in cultivation. Investigations in 1966 at a tea plantation in the upper Wahgi Valley by a small team from The Australian National University yielded a date of over 2000 years ago for a wooden stick collected from the bottom of a prehistoric ditch. The establishment of Kuk Research Station a few kilometres away shortly afterwards provided an ideal opportunity for a research project.

Rethinking Agriculture

Rethinking Agriculture

Author: Timothy P Denham

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781315420998

Category: Social Science

Page: 476

View: 479

Although the need to study agriculture in different parts of the world on its “own terms” has long been recognized and re-affirmed, a tendency persists to evaluate agriculture across the globe using concepts, lines of evidence and methods derived from Eurasian research. However, researchers working in different regions are becoming increasingly aware of fundamental differences in the nature of, and methods employed to study, agriculture and plant exploitation practices in the past. Contributions to this volume rethink agriculture, whether in terms of existing regional chronologies, in terms of techniques employed, or in terms of the concepts that frame our interpretations. This volume highlights new archaeological and ethnoarchaeological research on early agriculture in understudied non-Eurasian regions, including Island Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and Africa, to present a more balanced view of the origins and development of agricultural practices around the globe.