"Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes": Transitions and Thresholds throughout Central America and Beyond

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 81st Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL (2016)

The archaeological record presents both opportunities and challenges to archaeologists studying societal and environmental change in Mesoamerica and globally. This session explores multidisciplinary techniques to better understand the complexities of societal transitions in the ancient Maya world and beyond. Environmental and societal transitions are a complex but vital aspect of archaeology. Shifts in environmental patterns, social behaviors and changes in land use provide multiple datasets for analyzing resource extraction and human resilience. We consider case studies on diachronic change from archaeological investigations throughout Mesoamerica and neighboring regions. Patterns of change can include the shift from hunting and gathering to long term sedentism, the regional climate and soils, historical changes in trade, and shifts in political and economic power. This session will examine how we can search for and detect connections between environmental and societal changes throughout the archaeological record.