Maya Subsistence - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780122597800, 9781483299174

Maya Subsistence

1st Edition

Studies in Memory of Dennis E. Puleston

Editors: Kent Flannery
eBook ISBN: 9781483299174
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th February 1982
Page Count: 368
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Description

Maya Subsistence: Studies in Memory of Dennis E. Puleston presents studies on the history and development of Maya subsistence in honor of Maya archaeologist Dennis E. Puleston (1940-1978). The discussions are organized around four themes: ecological models for early Maya adaptations; archaeological investigations of Pre-classic and classic Maya subsistence; contributions of geography and soil science to an understanding of ancient Maya subsistence; and Maya subsistence in the post-classic, colonial, and modern eras.

Comprised of 15 chapters, this book begins with an analysis of Puleston's career and a review of the history of inquiry into Maya subsistence. Maya subsistence from the earliest Pre-classic period up to the present day is then examined, with emphasis on agriculture, hunting, wild plant collecting, animal husbandry, and trade. In particular, cultural development in the Valley of Guatemala from 1500 B.C. to the Spanish Conquest is discussed, along with the resources of the tropical lowlands and actual prehistoric cornfields miraculously preserved by volcanic ashfall in El Salvador. The book also presents evidence for Maya soil and water conservation over the entire area from Yucatan to Chiapas and central Guatemala, and looks at the traditional role of women and animals in lowland Maya economy.

This monograph will be of interest to archaeologists and anthropologists.

Table of Contents


Contributors

Preface

Dennis Edward Puleston (1940-1978): Maya Archaeologist

I Ecological Models for Early Maya Adaptations

1 Cultural Evolution and Ecological Succession in the Valley of Guatemala: 1500 B.C.-A.D. 1524

Introduction

Chronology

The Test Squares

Settlement and Population History of the Valley of Guatemala

Agricultural History of the Valley of Guatemala

Conclusions

2 An Ecological Model of the Early Maya of the Central Lowlands

Introduction

Pioneer Maya and the Tropical Forest Habitat

Potential Exports of the Central Lowlands

Organizational Characteristics of Tropical Forests and Their Procurement Systems

Organizational Characteristics of the Maya Export System

Evaluation of the Tropical Forest Export Model

Summary

II Archaeological Investigations of Preclassic and Classic Maya Subsistence

3 Prehistoric Agricultural Systems in El Salvador

Introduction

Cultural History and Agricultural Systems

Summary and Conclusions

4 Subsistence and Society in Eastern Yucatán

Introduction

Part 1

Part 2

Conclusion

5 Subsistence, Trade, and Development of the Coastal Maya

Introduction

Preclassic Canalization at Cerros, Northern Belize

Spatial Disposition of Feature

Excavation of Features

Interpretations

Speculation

Conclusions

6 Ancient Lowland and Highland Maya Water and Soil Conservation Strategies

Introduction

Lowland and Highland Watersheds

Lowland Hydraulic Techniques

The Maya Highlands

Summary

III Contributions of Geography and Soil Science to an Understanding of Ancient Maya Subsistence

7 Hydraulic Agriculture in the American Tropics: Forms, Measures, and Recent Research

Introduction

Forms of Hydraulic Agriculture and Minor Water-Management Techniques

The Measurement of Raised Fields

Recent Research on Precolumbian Raised-Field Agriculture in Latin America

Summary

8 Prehispanic Agricultural Use of the Wetlands of Northern Belize

Introduction

Wetlands of Northern Belize

Ground Verification of Wetland Patterning

Related Field Investigations

Reconsiderations

Problems in Assessing the Significance of Maya Raised Fields

Summary and Conclusions

Postscript

9 The Origin of Raised Fields near San Antonio, Belize: An Alternative Hypothesis

Introduction

Physical Setting

Methods

Examination of Strata from Test Pits

Discussion

Summary and Conclusions

IV Maya Subsistence in the Postclassic, Colonial, and Modern Eras

10 The Plant World of the Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Lowland Maya

Introduction

The Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Sources

The Size of the Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Fields

Maya Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Plant Categories

Maya Classification of Soils and Environmental Features

Continuity and Change: The Impact of Nahua and Arawak

Summary and Conclusions

11 Agriculture and Trade in the Colonial Period Southern Maya Lowlands

Introduction

The Southern Maya Lowlands in Colonial Times

Patterns of Agricultural Production

Implications of the Model

12 The Traditional Role of Women and Animals in Lowland Maya Economy

Introduction

Ritual Feasts

Trade and Tribute

Dogs and Pigs

The Economic Role of Maya Women

Conclusions

13 The Contemporary Role of Women in Lowland Maya Livestock Production

Introduction

Methods

Traditional Methods of Animal Production

Contemporary Festivals

Personal Independence and Family Security

Women as Entrepreneurs

Conclusion

14 Experiences in Traditional Hydraulic Agriculture

Introduction

The Balancán-Tenosique Plan

Experiment in El Espino, Tabasco

The College of Tropical Agriculture

The Cultural Institute of Nacajuca

The Camellones Chontales

The Lagoon of Tecocomulco

Chinampas of Laguna de La Mancha

Conclusion

V Overview

15 Maya Subsistence: A Commentary

Appendix 1 Dennis E. Puleston: A Tribute

Appendix 2 The Role of Ramón in Maya Subsistence

Introduction

Slash-and-Burn Agriculture

The Ramón Survey

Productivity

Nutrition

Labor

Settlement Patterns

Index

Details

No. of pages:
368
Language:
English
Copyright:
© Academic Press 1982
Published:
Imprint:
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:
9781483299174

About the Editor

Kent Flannery

Affiliations and Expertise

Museum of Anthropology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, U.S.A.