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Land and Society: Evaluating Diversity In Land Use Strategies Among The Classic Lowland Maya Through Terrace Design And Maintenance

Author(s): Byron Smith

Year: 2017

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Summary

Agrarian production in the Central Maya Lowlands during the Classic period was comprised of a variety of techniques that were used to satisfy dietary needs and to stimulate its subsistence economy. Rainfall totals and intensity along the variable topography of the region may have predisposed areas with less vegetative structure to soil erosion. Previous research suggests the application of terraced features by the Maya as a means to lessening the effects of surface runoff while also supplementing existing growing schemes. Increased labor investments during the construction of retaining walls, and throughout the cultivatable life of the growing fields (which includes maintaining soil quality) would have been essential to the production of a sustainable crop. The nutrient requirements of grain and legume yields demand adequately sustained levels of available (P) phosphorus to ensure growth. This research seeks to analyze levels of commitment through an appraisal of retaining wall design, as well as through the measurement of available (P) within the soil’s matrix. The effects of past land use and management will be examined through the excavation of terraced features and though the chemical analysis of the soil’s mineral content.


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Land and Society: Evaluating Diversity In Land Use Strategies Among The Classic Lowland Maya Through Terrace Design And Maintenance. Byron Smith. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430272)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
Mesoamerica


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17550

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