The Classic Maya village of Joya de Cerén is extraordinary in that it was preserved by volcanic ash following the Loma Caldera volcanic eruption. The excellent preservation conditions offer a unique opportunity to understand plants in their primary use contexts, and to examine geospatial relationships between plants—both living and curated—in gardens, fields and households. The geospatial analysis of ‘plantscapes’ at Cerén presented here provides a template for interpreting botanical resource use and management at other contemporaneous Maya sites, and can contribute to a broader understanding of the use of space, plants and agriculture in the past.
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