Canals, Sacbeob and Defining Space in Ditched Agricultural Fields in the Three Rivers Region, Northwestern Belize
In 2016 the Northwestern Belize Lidar Consortium acquired nearly 300 square km of LiDAR imagery that covers large areas of ancient Maya agricultural systems, including ditched and raised fields, reservoirs, terraces, and sacbeob. This new imagery allows us to map beneath the canopy and shows that over nearly 20 years without LiDAR we studied only a small spatial sample of these complex systems. We have tested these systems with multiple excavations, and used multiple proxies such as paleoecology, elemental geochemistry, and isotope analysis to reconstruct Maya management within wetlands. Through new LiDAR technologies and continued on the ground excavations, the study of these Maya agroecosystems has entered a period of great dynamism. The coverage of systems in northwestern Belize indicates intensive, polycultural complexes of upland terraces and wetland fields. Here, we present our current state of knowledge of the Birds of Paradise agricultural zone based on previous research and our new, ground-truthing through mapping and excavation efforts from the summer 2017 field season. Based on these new efforts we can better understand wetland agriculture both spatially and temporally within the framework of Maya urbanism and agricultural management in the Three Rivers Region.
Cite this Record
Canals, Sacbeob and Defining Space in Ditched Agricultural Fields in the Three Rivers Region, Northwestern Belize. Samantha Krause, Timothy Beach, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Thomas Harold Guderjan, Fred Valdez. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444286)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 19934