Scrutinizing Theories of Maya Collapse with the CHAAHK Spatial Simulation Model

Author(s): Alex Kara

Year: 2018


The Classic Maya collapse remains as both relevant and controversial a topic as ever. For over a century, dozens of researchers have proposed different causes that may have driven this complex process. The last few decades have witnessed the academic community’s opinion converge on the notion that many different social and environmental factors, operating at likewise diverse scales, somehow contributed to a temporally gradual and spatially heterogeneous disruption of the demographic, political, and cultural patterns known to have characterized the Classic Maya. This paper builds on this progress by attempting to quantify the relative influence of certain factors on the Maya region's long-term trajectory. It presents an abstract spatial simulation model of Maya demography, subsistence, and trade over a 3000 year period. It implements relatively generic manifestations of what processes were relevant to the growth, collapse, and regeneration of the Maya system. This abstraction permits quicker model execution times, which then facilitates using data mining and sensitivity analysis methodology to quantify how certain stressor categories contribute to the presence or absence of long term societal collapse. The relative importance of these stressors according to the simulation is then compared to the amount of research attention they tend to receive.

Cite this Record

Scrutinizing Theories of Maya Collapse with the CHAAHK Spatial Simulation Model. Alex Kara. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443521)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22725