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Tikal
Paleoecology of an Ancient Maya City

$102.00 (C)

Nicholas P. Dunning, David L. Lentz, Vernon L. Scarborough, Liwy Grazioso Sierra, Brian Lane, Christopher Carr, Eric Weaver, Lee Florea, Robert E. Griffin, John G. Jones, Richard E. Terry, Zachary Larsen, Kim Thompson, Angela Hood, Dana Cavallaro, Kevin Magee, Kenneth B. Tankersley, Gerald Islebe, Carmen Ramos, David Webster, Timothy Murtha, Palma Buttles, Fred Valdez, Jr, Timothy Beach, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Jonathan Flood, Stephen Houston, Thomas Garrison, Edwin Román, Steve Bozarth, James Doyle
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  • Date Published: February 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107027930

$ 102.00 (C)
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About the Authors
  • The primary theoretical question addressed in this book focuses on the lingering concern of how the ancient Maya in the northern Petén Basin were able to sustain large populations in the midst of a tropical forest environment during the Late Classic period. This book asks how agricultural intensification was achieved and how essential resources, such as water and forest products, were managed in both upland areas and seasonal wetlands, or bajos. All of these activities were essential components of an initially sustainable land use strategy that eventually failed to meet the demands of an escalating population. This spiraling disconnect with sound ecological principles undoubtedly contributed to the Maya collapse. The book's findings provide insights that broaden the understanding of the rise of social complexity – the expansion of the political economy, specifically – and, in general terms, the trajectory of cultural evolution of the ancient Maya civilization.

    • Addresses key questions about Maya sustainability and agriculture in the Late Classic period
    • QR codes throughout provide links to external resources
    • Research includes a video showing a 3-D representation of the development of Tikal from a small village during the Pre-Classic period to a city during the Late Classic period
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This interdisciplinary study blends agroforestry and hydroarchaeology to show culture and nature interacting in the florescence and fall of a great Maya city. Rarely has the engineered environment of an ancient community been analyzed in such scrupulous detail: Tikal’s temples and their socioeconomic foundations are, we now perceive, equally impressive."
    Norman Hammond, University of Cambridge

    'This impressive volume documents the results of the University of Cincinnati Archaeological Project at Tikal … This book would make an excellent case study for courses in environmental archaeology or historical ecology.' Natalie G. Mueller, Economic Botany

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107027930
    • length: 374 pages
    • dimensions: 260 x 186 x 23 mm
    • weight: 0.98kg
    • contains: 57 b/w illus. 15 maps
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Tikal land, water, and forest: an introduction Nicholas P. Dunning, David L. Lentz and Vernon L. Scarborough
    2. The evolution of an ancient waterworks system at Tikal Vernon L. Scarborough and Liwy Grazioso Sierra
    3. At the core of Tikal: terrestrial sediment sampling and water management Brian Lane, Vernon L. Scarborough and Nicholas P. Dunning
    4. Bringing the University of Pennsylvania maps of Tikal into the era of electronic GIS Christopher Carr, Eric Weaver, Nicholas P. Dunning and Vernon L. Scarborough
    5. Examining landscape modifications for water management at Tikal using three-dimensional modeling with Arcgis .91 Eric Weaver, Christopher Carr, Nicholas P. Dunning, Lee Florea and Vernon L. Scarborough
    6. Life on the edge: Tikal in a bajo landscape Nicholas P. Dunning, Robert E. Griffin, John G. Jones, Richard E. Terry, Zachary Larsen and Christopher Carr
    7. Connecting contemporary ecology and ethnobotany to ancient plant use practices of the Maya at Tikal Kim Thompson, Angela Hood, Dana Cavallaro and David L. Lentz
    8. Agroforestry and agricultural practices of the ancient Maya at Tikal David L. Lentz, Kevin Magee, Eric Weaver, John G. Jones, Kenneth B. Tankersley, Angela Hood, Gerald Islebe, Carmen Ramos and Nicholas P. Dunning
    9. Fire and water: the archaeological significance of Tikal's Quaternary sediments Kenneth Tankersley, Nicholas P. Dunning, Vernon L. Scarborough, John Jones, Christopher Carr and David L. Lentz
    10. Fractious farmers at Tikal David Webster and Timothy Murtha
    11. The material culture of Tikal Palma Buttles, Carmen Ramos and Fred Valdez, Jr
    12. A neighborly view: water and environmental history of the El Zotz region Timothy Beach, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Jonathan Flood, Stephen Houston, Thomas Garrison, Edwin Román, Steve Bozarth and James Doyle
    13. Defining the constructed niche of Tikal: a summary view David L. Lentz, Nicholas P. Dunnin and Vernon L. Scarborough.

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    Tikal

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  • Editors

    David L. Lentz, University of Cincinnati
    David L. Lentz is Professor of Biological Sciences and Executive Director of the Center for Field Studies at the University of Cincinnati. He is the author of more than ninety publications that have appeared as journal articles, book chapters, and three books, including this volume. He is the editor of Imperfect Balance: Landscape Transformations in the Precolumbian Americas (2000) and the coauthor of Seeds of Central America and Southern Mexico (2005, with Ruth Dickau). A Fellow of the Linnean Society of London and a former Fulbright Scholar, he has received support for his ancient landscape studies and paleoethnobotanical research from the National Science Foundation, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Geographic Society, the Heinz Family Foundation, and the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies.

    Nicholas P. Dunning, University of Cincinnati
    Nicholas P. Dunning is Professor of Geography at the University of Cincinnati. He is a geoarchaeologist and cultural ecologist specializing in the neotropics. He has published several books and more than ninety articles and book chapters, including those in this volume.

    Vernon L. Scarborough, University of Cincinnati
    Vernon L. Scarborough is Distinguished University Research Professor and Charles Phelps Taft Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati. His work emphasizes sustainability and global water systems through an examination of past engineered landscapes, using comparative ecological and transdisciplinary perspectives. In addition to editing Water and Humanity: A Historical Overview for UNESCO, he is a steering committee member of the Integrated History and Future of People on Earth (IHOPE) network, whose main office is located at Uppsala University, and an active organizer of the subgroup IHOPE-Maya. He is a senior editor for the journal WIREs Water and a series editor for Cambridge University Press's New Directions in Sustainability and Society series. He has published ten books – eight of them edited, including this volume – and authored more than ninety book chapters or journal articles.

    Contributors

    Nicholas P. Dunning, David L. Lentz, Vernon L. Scarborough, Liwy Grazioso Sierra, Brian Lane, Christopher Carr, Eric Weaver, Lee Florea, Robert E. Griffin, John G. Jones, Richard E. Terry, Zachary Larsen, Kim Thompson, Angela Hood, Dana Cavallaro, Kevin Magee, Kenneth B. Tankersley, Gerald Islebe, Carmen Ramos, David Webster, Timothy Murtha, Palma Buttles, Fred Valdez, Jr, Timothy Beach, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Jonathan Flood, Stephen Houston, Thomas Garrison, Edwin Román, Steve Bozarth, James Doyle

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