Sub-Tropical Agronomy on a Variable Landscape: Exploring Classic Maya Farming Through Geotechnical Design and the Distribution of Edaphic Variables
Late Classic hinterland agronomy presents a compelling glimpse into the socioeconomic dynamics of production and demand in the Three Rivers region. This project focused on a prominent house-group located 350 meters east of the site of Dos Hombres which was known to exhibit intensive agricultural strategies as well as a specialized degree of stone working. Additionally, a series of four karst depressions bordered the site and likely leveraged moisture demand resulting from agricultural needs as well as personal requirements. The goal was to delineate hinterland cultivation among the common Maya and to identify stratigraphic evidence of nutrient depletion resulting from exhaustive farming practices. The task of defining the breadth of agricultural strategies was accomplished through remote-sensing, field survey and excavation. Soil sampling was conducted along two terrace platforms and soils were analyzed using the ascorbic acid method for phosphorus determination in order to develop an index of phosphorus availability. While structural analysis of the site’s geotechnical features demonstrated regional cohesiveness in design, the scale of the land management strategy suggested a level of economic complexity witnessed through multiple lines of resource specialization. Soil analysis revealed sporadic evidence of unnatural Phosphorus distributions with increases occurring in subsoil regions.
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Sub-Tropical Agronomy on a Variable Landscape: Exploring Classic Maya Farming Through Geotechnical Design and the Distribution of Edaphic Variables. Byron Smith, Marisol Cortes-Rincon. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442891)
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min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22138