On the Back of the Crocodile: Extent, Energetics, and Productivity in Wetland Agricultural Systems, Northern Belize
Author(s): Shane Montgomery
Wetland agricultural techniques have been successfully employed in a variety of environmentally and climatically diverse landscapes throughout prehistory. Within the larger Maya region, these features figure prominently in the region comprised of Northern Belize and Southern Quintana Roo. Along the banks of the Hondo and New Rivers, the ancient Maya effectively utilized wetland agricultural practices from the Middle Preclassic to the Terminal Classic periods. A number of past archaeological projects have thoroughly examined the construction and impact of these swampland features; after four decades of study, a more precise picture has formed in relation to the roles that these systems played in the regional development of the area. However, a detailed record of the full spatial extent, combined construction costs, and potential agricultural productivity has not been attempted on a larger scale. This paper will highlight these avenues of interest as obtained from high and medium resolution satellite imagery and manipulated through GIS. The research will explore environmental factors and topographic elements dictating the distribution of such entities, the energetic involvement required to construct and maintain the systems, and the efficiency of wetland techniques as compared to traditional milpa agriculture.
Cite this Record
On the Back of the Crocodile: Extent, Energetics, and Productivity in Wetland Agricultural Systems, Northern Belize. Shane Montgomery. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404893)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;