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The Critical Zone Revolution from 2016 LiDAR and Two Decades of Multiproxy Geoarchaeology around the Programme for Belize

Author(s): Timothy Beach ; Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach ; Colin Doyle ; Nicholas Dunning ; Nick Brokaw

Year: 2017

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Summary

Over the last two decades we have studied agroecosystems in the Programme for Belize (PfB), a valuable and privileged reserve for an exceedingly wide array of research efforts. Aspects of the agroecosystems preserved in the PfB include terraces, wetland fields, aguadas, ecology, and curious wall features under the canopy of this tropical forest with some savannas. We based these studies on excavations along multiple transects across this karst region’s uplands, escarpments, bajos, floodplains, and terraces and on hundreds of soil and water chemistry analyses. This paper appraises these excavations and their findings in light of a new, 300 kilometer square swath of LiDAR that covers each of these landscapes in the PfB and its surroundings, especially the Blue Creek area. We focus on three main topics based on our 2016 field and remote data that reflect these decades of study: wetland fields, agricultural terraces, and soil-human forest interactions. The LiDAR imagery shows us new evidence for wetland field systems, terracing, and the critical zone (from rock to soil to forest to the lower atmosphere), which creates unprecedented resolution on this remarkably florid region’s history of human and landscape interaction.


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Cite this Record

The Critical Zone Revolution from 2016 LiDAR and Two Decades of Multiproxy Geoarchaeology around the Programme for Belize. Timothy Beach, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Colin Doyle, Nicholas Dunning, Nick Brokaw. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431536)


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): 17034

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