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The Resilience and Vulnerability of Ancient Landscapes: Transforming Maya Archaeology through IHOPE



The Resilience and Vulnerability of Ancient Landscapes: Transforming Maya Archaeology through IHOPE

Arlen F. Chase, Vernon L. Scarborough

ISBN: 978-1-119-01673-1 October 2014 200 Pages


This volume represents the concerted efforts of a group of Maya archaeologists to employ a different approach to their archaeological data that is consistent with an effort called IHOPE: Integrated History and Future of People on Earth. IHOPE is a global network of scientists and researchers that seeks to use a wide range of data to examine how changes in the Earth's systems of the past have been correlated with changes in the coupled human-biophysical environment (Costanza et al. 2007). “The specific objectives for IHOPE are to identify slow and rapidly moving features of complex social-ecological systems, on local to continental spatial scales, which induce resilience, stress, or collapse in linked systems of humans and nature. These objectives will be reached by exploring innovative ways of conducting inter and trans-disciplinary science, including theory, case studies, and integrated modeling” (Costanza et al. 2012:1). The integration of these data, a large portion of which are derived from archaeology, is seen as an important contribution to the accurate and applicable information base for addressing both short- and long-term planning issues facing modern populations.

Table of Contents  iii
Foreward v
Chapter 1. Diversity, Resiliency, and IHOPE-Maya: Using the Past to Inform the Present 
Arlen F. Chase and Vernon Scarborough  1
Chapter 2. Tropical Landscapes and the Ancient Maya: Diversity in Time and Space 
Arlen F. Chase, Lisa J. Lucero, Vernon L. Scarborough, Diane Z. Chase, Rafael Cobos, Nicholas P. Dunning, Scott L. Fedick, Vilma Fialko, Joel D. Gunn, Michelle Hegmon, Gyles Iannone, David L. Lentz, Rodrigo Liendo, Keith Prufer, Jeremy A. Sabloff, Joseph A. Tainter, Fred Valdez Jr, and Sander E. van der Leeuw  11
Chapter 3. Water and Landscape: Ancient Maya Settlement Decisions 
Lisa J. Lucero, Scott L. Fedick, Nicholas P. Dunning, David L. Lentz, and Vernon L. Scarborough  30
Chapter 4. Growth and Decline in Classic Maya Puuc Political Economies 
Christian Isendahl, Nicholas P. Dunning, and Jeremy A. Sabloff  43
Chapter 5. Ancient Climate and Archaeology: Uxmal, Chichen Itza, and Their Collapse at the End 
of the Terminal Classic Period 
Rafael Cobos, Guillermo de Anda Alanýs, and Roberto Garcýa Moll 56
Chapter 6. A Reassessment of Water and Soil Resources in the Flatlands of the Northern Maya Lowlands 
Scott L. Fedick  72
Chapter 7. Population Dynamics and Its Relation to Ancient Landscapes in the Northwestern 
Maya Lowlands: Evaluating Resilience and Vulnerability 
Rodrigo Liendo, Elizabeth Solleiro-Rebolledo, Berenice Solis-Castillo, Sergei Sedov, and Arturo Ortiz-Perez  84
Chapter 8. Calakmul: Agent Risk and Sustainability in theWestern Maya Lowlands 
Joel D. Gunn, William J. Folan, Christian Isendahl, Mar´ýa del Rosario Dom´ýnguez Carrasco, Betty B. Faust,  and Beniamino Volta 101
Chapter 9. The Alternative Economy: Resilience in the Face of Complexity from the Eastern Lowlands 
Vernon L. Scarborough and Fred Valdez  124 
Chapter 10. Path Dependency in the Rise and Denouement of a Classic Maya City: The Case 
of Caracol, Belize 
Diane Z. Chase and Arlen F. Chase  142
Chapter 11. Resilience and Vulnerability in the Maya Hinterlands 
Gyles Iannone, Keith Prufer, and Diane Z. Chase  155
Chapter 12. Transformative Relocation in the U.S. Southwest and Mesoamerica 
Ben A. Nelson, Adrian S. Z. Chase, and Michelle Hegmon  171
Chapter 13. Comparative Landscape Analysis: Contrasting the Middle East and Maya Regions 
T. J. Wilkinson  183
Chapter 14. Collapse and Sustainability: Rome, the Maya, and the Modern World 
Joseph A. Tainter  201
Chapter 15. Transforming Lessons from the Past into Lessons for the Future 
Sander E. van der Leeuw  215

List of Contributors  232