Collapse (Other Keyword)

1-25 (46 Records)

Angkorian Collapse and Aftermath: A View from the Center (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Miriam Stark. David Brotherson. Damian Evans. Martin Polkinghorne.

The 9th – 15th century Angkorian state was Southeast Asia’s largest ancient polity; its 1000 km2 core was among the world’s largest preindustrial urban centers. The Angkorian state’s mid-15th century CE “collapse” moved the polity’s rulers and their populations south to a series of new capitals that were closely linked to the Early Modern Southeast Asian economy. Angkor as a capital collapsed, but the Angkorian civilization continued. We use field excavations, surface survey, and remote sensing...


Aztec at the End of Days: Great House to Crossroads (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Erin Baxter.

New investigations of primary source material reveal that the final days of Aztec were extensively recorded (but not published) by Earl Morris. This paper will present analyses of burial, feature, architectural and artifactual data that indicate a chaotic and tumultuous end at Aztec preceded by behaviors that differed drastically from Chaco Canyon or in other 12th century great house sites. These practices are seen in mortuary data, in room remodeling the increased frequency of habitation of...


Broken Molds, Burned Wealth, and Scattered Monuments: Defining the Terminal Classic Period at Pacbitun (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Norbert Stanchly. Jon Spenard. Terry Powis. Christophe Helmke.

The Terminal Classic period in the southern Maya Lowlands was one of great social transition, witnessing the disruption of long-standing economic systems, and the downfall of divine kingship. The manifestation of this "collapse" in the artifactual record has been well documented at many sites throughout the Belize Valley, yet how it does so at the site of Pacbitun, on the southern rim of the Belize Valley, remains poorly understood, in spite of nearly three decades of archaeological research...


Cahokia’s Western Frontier: Consolidation and Collapse as viewed from the Big River Valley, Missouri (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Christina Friberg. Gregory Wilson.

Cahokia was the largest and most complex pre-Columbian Native American society in North America. Its cultural influence extended throughout the Mississippian period Midwest (A.D. 1050–1400). A diachronic investigation of greater Cahokia from its western periphery provides insight into the polity’s consolidation, fragmentation, and collapse. Cahokian groups appear to have annexed portions of the Big River Valley (BRV) in southeast Missouri as part of the polity’s formational Big Bang. However, by...


A City in Decline: Insights on the Collapse of Teotihuacan from the Southern Basin of Mexico (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah Clayton.

In this paper I discuss the urban decline and political breakdown of Teotihuacan from the vantage of Chicoloapan Viejo, an agrarian settlement situated in the Basin of Mexico hinterland, 40 km south of the capital city. Fieldwork in the southeastern Basin, including settlement survey led by Jeffrey Parsons in the 1960s and excavations at Chicoloapan in 2013 and 2014, shows that population numbers in this area grew dramatically in the years surrounding the state’s dissolution. As a settlement...


Closing the Portal at Itzmal Ch’en: Termination Rituals at Mayapan (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Marilyn Masson. Carlos Peraza Lope. Wilberth Cruz Alvarado. Pedro Delgado Ku. Timothy Hare.

The ceremonious destruction and abandonment of the Itzmal Ch’en group at Mayapán is symptomatic of ritual violence that marked this city’s near collapse at least 50 years before its final abandonment around 1448 A.D. This new evidence revises Contact Period accounts about the demise of this city, the last regional capital of the Maya realm prior to European arrival, and it also reveals the city’s resilient (if brief) recovery. In the tradition of the interdisciplinary approach of the Forest of...


Collapse in the North American Southwest: A Comparative Study (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Scott Ingram.

This presentation reports the results of a preliminary cross-cultural comparative study of collapse (depopulation) in the late precontact Southwest. Key descriptive characteristics and trends in possible contributing factors to collapse (e.g., population levels, social conflict, natural disasters, environmental impacts, etc.) within eight archaeological cultures will be considered. Generalizable and systematic description rather than explanation is the emphasis. The purpose of this trial study...


Contextualing Cahokia's Collapse (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only John Kelly.

The wide scale abandonment of Mississippian towns in the lower Midwest by the beginning of the fifteenth century has been the focus of interest for the last four decades beginning with the work of Stephen Williams. The largest urban center, Cahokia, is one of the earliest to be abandoned before the end of the fourteenth century. Recent evidence has been presented on a massive flood in the twelfth century as perhaps an important factor in this process, that occurs over a century later. This...


The Demise of Angkor: infratructural inertia and climatic instability (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Dan Penny. Tegan Hall.

The demise of Angkor and its city-region offers insights into the vulnerability of giant low-density cities to climate extremes. At Angkor, the iterative growth of massive, convoluted and intractable infrastructural networks progressively decreased the resilience of the settlement to changing circumstances by restricting or removing adaptive strategies. The nature and consequences of the water crises in Angkor between the 13th and the 16th centuries has been revealed by a combination of remote...


Diet and Migration in Coastal Oaxaca: Identifying Effects of Political and Social Collapse through the Utilization of Stable Isotope Analysis (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Jacklyn Rumberger. Sarah Barber. Arthur Joyce. Tosha Dupras. Stacie King.

This study reports on diet and mobility among people living in the lower Río Verde Valley, Oaxaca, Mexico, during the Late Classic (AD 500-800) and Early Postclassic (AD 800-1200) periods, specifically focusing on how political and social collapse affected subsistence practices, diet, and human migration. Archaeological evidence suggests that Río Viejo, the region’s largest urban center before AD 800, experienced multiple periods of political fragmentation and instability during its long...


Does Size Matter? Comparing Cave Size to Degree of Modification Outside their Entrances (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Marieka Arksey.

Over the past three years, investigations of over fifty ritual cave sites across the country of Belize by the Las Cuevas Archaeological Reconnaissance Project and the Belize Cave Research Project have yielded surprising findings: at least nine of the caves have modifications or construction directly outside of the entrances. These modifications took place for the first and only time during the Late Classic, a centuries-long period characterized by droughts, overpopulation, the failure of Maya...


The End Is Nigh: Applying Regional, Contextual and Ethnographic Approaches for Understanding the Significance of Terminal "Problematic" Deposits in Western Belize (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Jaime Awe. Julie Hoggarth. Christophe Helmke. Jim Aimers.

The discovery of cultural remains on or above the floors of rooms and courtyards at several Maya sites has been interpreted by some archaeologists as problematic deposits, defacto refuse, or as evidence for rapid abandonment. Investigations in the Belize River valley have recorded similar deposits at several surface and subterranean sites. Our regional and contextual approach to the study of these remains, coupled with ethnohistoric and ethnographic information provide limited support for...


Explaining Variability in On-Floor Assemblages: The Contextual-Behavioral Method (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Andrew Snetsinger. Maxime Lamoureux-St-Hilaire.

Settlement abandonment studies are crucial for understanding the archaeological record, as they yield the key to decipher the context of on-floor deposits, or assemblages. We advocate the use of a behavioral-contextual method for studying on-floor assemblages for ascribing them to one of several categories of abandonment. This behavioral-contextual approach examines the vertical and horizontal architectural contexts of artifacts, the relative completeness of vessels, and the represented vessel...


Exploring the Collapse of the Hittite Empire as a Social Phenomenon (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah E. Adcock.

In this paper, I explore how viewing collapse as a social and political phenomenon might change how we interpret the collapse of the Hittite empire in Turkey at the end of the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1200 BC). To this end, I consider the implications of changes and continuities in animal management at two sites in central Turkey following the collapse of the Hittite empire. The end of the Late Bronze Age was characterized by significant political and economic disruption throughout the eastern...


Final Moments: Contextualizing On-Floor Archaeological Materials from Caracol, Belize (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Arlen Chase. Diane Chase.

Excavations within various locales at Caracol, Belize have recovered artifactual materials on the floors of epicentral stone buildings that were associated with the latest occupation of the site epicenter. These deposits are the result of both "de facto" refuse and rapid short-term abandonment processes. In many cases, complete vessels and other artefactual remains were recovered from the floors of Caracol’s epicentral buildings. Other terminal deposits comprise thin sheet-like layers of broken...


Gulf Lowland Collapse (2016)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Barbara Stark.

In south-central and southern Veracruz settlement pattern data document a collapse of previous settlement systems and many cultural traditions. Some regions reorganized and some likely were re-populated in part by migrants from highland regions. The timings of collapse in these lowland regions are poorly defined, but variation seems likely. Causes have received little attention because the extent of changes has not been recognized. Likewise, possible consequences are still to be investigated....


Ingenuity from the Periphery: Contributions to Old World Transformations from the Aral Sea deltas (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Elizabeth Brite.

The deltas of the Aral Sea lie within an internal drainage basin where critical water resources are prone to unpredictable change. The nature of this resource landscape discourages the emergence of enduring centralized states and was a key factor that led to the peripheral status of the deltas in world history. Nevertheless, complex social institutions did develop there in the early 1st millennium B.C. – late 1st millennium A.D., and these were based on especially diverse and flexible economic...


Liberty on the periphery: How Actuncan, Belize escaped the Classic Maya collapse (for a time) (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only David Mixter.

In recent years, scholars working in the Classic period Maya periphery questioned traditional narratives of the 9th century Maya collapse by pointing to settlements along the periphery of the lowlands that appear to have maintained relative cultural and demographic stability. However, this generalization obscures dramatic sociopolitical changes these communities implemented to remain successful through the collapse. In this paper, I argue that populations on the periphery relied on a locally...


The Materiality of Cultural Resilience: The Archaeology of Struggle and Transformation in Post-famine Ireland (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Stephen Brighton.

Cultural resilience or collapse has been the focus for the study of prehistoric and proto-historic societies. Little, if any work in historical archaeology, or the archaeology of the modern world, has linked the impact of traumatic natural events and social, economic, and political structures to how cultural groups respond. In this paper, cultural resilience theory is employed to discuss the capacity of a culture to maintain and transform its world-view, cultural identity, and critical cultural...


Merit Making at Ancient Bagan, Myanmar: A Consideration of Socio-Religious Entanglements and the Rise and Fall of a Classical Southeast Asian State (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Gyles Iannone.

Much of the recent discourse surrounding the collapse of archaic states is centered on the impacts of ecoside or climate change. Driven by natural scientists and increasingly sophisticated data generation and analysis methods, such environmentally-based approaches to collapse have tended to gloss over the myriad cultural factors also involved in such severe transformations, thus inhibiting our ability to fully grasp the complexities of the collapse process in the various case studies currently...


On the Fall of Copan, Teotihuacan, and the Origins of the Fate of 8 Ahau (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Stanley Guenter.

"A Forest of Kings" was groundbreaking for its integration of epigraphy, archaeology, and ethnohistory. In their book, Schele and Freidel discussed the Early Classic Teotihuacan-Maya cultural and political interaction as well as the fall of Copan, and the larger issue of the collapse of Classic Maya cities, and even the fall of Postclassic Mayapan. In this presentation I wish to expand on and integrate these disparate themes in an effort to answer the question of why the Colonial era Maya...


PEOPLE 3K (PalEOclimate and the PeopLing of the Earth): Investigating Tipping Points Generated by the Climate-Human Demography-Institutional Nexus over the Last 3000 Years (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only David Byers. José M. Capriles. Adolfo Gil. Judson Finley. Jacob Freeman.

One of the least understood aspects of paleoscience is the interplay between climate, human demography, and how changes in population influence resource management strategies. With the goal of understanding such processes, we created the PEOPLE 3000 research network to study trade-offs inherent to the climate-human population-institutional adaptation system over the last 3000 years. We propose that strategies reducing variation in food production and institutions for protecting those strategies...


People without Collapse: An Introduction (2015)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Elizabeth Paris. Elizabeth Brite.

Eric Wolf's seminal work, Europe and the People Without History (1982), drew our attention to the periphery as an important locus of anthropological inquiry. By examining "people without history," Wolf was able to show that social complexity before the modern era was not a process that laid solely in the development and decline of isolated societies. Rather, both ancient and modern forms of social complexity rest upon the interconnections among peoples at global scales. This perspective has...


Political and Economic Change on the Eve of the Classic Maya Collapse: Building on a "Ceramic Foundation" (2018)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Arthur Demarest. Paola Torres.

Joe Ball’s research, his ceramic studies, his insistence on material culture as basis for work, and his honesty in critique of poorly grounded interpretation together provide a standard of building culture-history on solid ceramic studies, chronology, and material culture analyses. Many recent interpretations of Classic Maya society have not met that standard. Here we aspire to his bottom-up, material culture approach to interpretation in recent collaborative research in the western Peten and...


Politicized Use of the Spaces outside of Caves during the Terminal Classic Maya Collapse (2017)
DOCUMENT Citation Only Marieka Arksey.

This paper investigates the use of caves as performance spaces for water and agriculturally focused rituals during the Maya Late Classic period (~ A.D. 750-900) and the events of the 'collapse'. Although the ‘collapse’ of the social, economic, and political systems during this period has been the subject of much study, the majority of research has focused on the environmental factors with little consensus as to how rulers attempted to maintain order, social solidarity, and political power...