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The Myth of a Marginal Environment: Redefining a Yucatecan Landscape

Author(s): Caroline Antonelli

Year: 2017

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This paper examines shifting environmental paradigms in the Maya realm. Using Mayapan as a case-study, a site long-considered to be located in a "marginal" environment for agricultural productivity, I will evaluate site resilience, sustainability, and self-sufficiency and use these concepts to create a more nuisanced perspective of human-environment interactions. Data from Mayapan will be cross-referenced to other similar sites across the Maya region. I will show that assumptions about the environment in the Northern Yucatan Peninsula is rooted partly in culture historical interpretations of the previous century. Modern investigative techniques from the last twenty years have allowed for more robust scientific research that contrast the environmental perspectives of the past, challenging these long-held beliefs and opening up new avenues of research. These new investigations show that the environmental history of the Maya in the Northern Yucatan Peninsula is even more complex than previously understood. Occupation in this area is both highly adaptive and stable at different points in time.

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The Myth of a Marginal Environment: Redefining a Yucatecan Landscape. Caroline Antonelli. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430696)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16568

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