Ethnoarchaeology of Water Resources in a Landscape without Rivers: Using Limestone Solution Cavities to Study Settlement and Subsistence Activities in a Yucatec Maya Community, Mexico
Ethnoarchaeological investigations in the Yucatec Maya community of Xculoc recently included inventorying the location and uses of a range of small-large water sources. This karst landscape has no surface rivers, ponds, or lakes. Currently, the community uses a deep well at the former hacienda in this location. However, at least 60 years ago most families that coalesced into this village were distributed in relation to smaller reliable water sources near the current community location. Field research located the known water sources and their uses. These solution cavities in the limestone bedrock range from large and deep sources that contain water year-round fed by vadose water flow to small and ephemeral pockets that are seasonally filled by rainfall. All of the identified water sources (sartenejas, aguadas, and cenotes) are maintained and still used at least periodically for apiaries, incidental agricultural use, laundry washing, drinking water sources for groups working away from the village, and as locations to check for game during hunting trips. Our research addresses how these sartenejas and aguadas can be used to study past settlement in the region of Xculoc, as well as past and present economic activities.
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Ethnoarchaeology of Water Resources in a Landscape without Rivers: Using Limestone Solution Cavities to Study Settlement and Subsistence Activities in a Yucatec Maya Community, Mexico. Russell Greaves, Karen Kramer, Christopher Dore. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 442933)
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min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;
Abstract Id(s): 22312