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A Late Holocene Environmental Reconstruction from a Wetland in the Northern Holmul Region: Preliminary Results from Laguna Ek’Naab, Peten, Guatemala

Author(s): David Wahl ; Francisco Estrada-Belli ; Lysanna Anderson

Year: 2015

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Summary

Environmental change, caused by either human activity or climate variability, has been posited as a contributing factor in causing widespread demographic shifts in the southern Maya lowlands at the end of the Preclassic and Classic periods. Here we present preliminary results of analyses examining environmental change during and after the period of Pre-Columbian Maya settlement. Environmental reconstructions are based on a multi-proxy approach, including pollen, macroscopic charcoal, stable isotopes, and loss-on-ignition. Analyses were performed on a 7 meter sediment core from Laguna Ek’Naab, a relatively small wetland associated with the Holmul River. Laguna Ek’Naab is near two major Maya settlements, the Preclassic period center Cival and the Late Classic site Witzna’. Extensive archaeological mapping around the study site provides a basis for interpreting the results in the context of local settlement history. Coupling the local archaeological record of settlement and land use with limnological reconstructions of environmental change enables us to test models suggesting that anthropogenic and/or natural (ie, climate) impacts played a role in shifting Pre-Columbian demographic patterns. Results from ongoing analyses will provide a foundation for drawing broader conclusions about the dynamic human/environment relationship in the Laguna Ek’Naab watershed during the Maya period.

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A Late Holocene Environmental Reconstruction from a Wetland in the Northern Holmul Region: Preliminary Results from Laguna Ek’Naab, Peten, Guatemala. David Wahl, Lysanna Anderson, Francisco Estrada-Belli. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396173)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America