- New Paths into the Anthropocene: Applying Historical Ecologies to the Human Future
- Thinking Like An Archaeologist and Thinking Like an Engineer: A Utilitarian-Perspective Archaeology
- Expedience, Impermanence, and Unplanned Obsolescence: The Coming-About of Agricultural Features and Landscapes
- Just How Long Does ‘Long-Term’ Have to Be? Matters of Temporal Scale as Impediments to Interdisciplinary Understanding in Historical Ecology
- Archaeology, Historical Sciences, and Environmental Conservation
- Landscaping, Landscape Legacies, and Landesque Capital in Pre-Columbian Amazonia
- Integrating Geoarchaeology with Archaeology for Interdisciplinary Understanding of Societal–Environmental Relations
- Digging for Indigenous Knowledge: ‘Reverse Engineering’ and Stratigraphic Sequencing as a Potential Archaeological Contribution to Sustainability Assessments
- Linking the Past and Present of the Ancient Maya: Lowland Land Use, Population Distribution, and Density in the Late Classic Period
- Paleozoology Is Valuable to Conservation Biology
- Historic Molecules Connect the Past to Modern Conservation
- Community and Conservation: Documenting Millennial Scale Sustainable Resource Use at Lake Mývatn, Iceland
- Soils, Plants, and Texts: An Archaeologist’s Tool-Box
- Grappling with Interpreting and Testing People–Landscape Dynamics
- From Narratives to Algorithms: Extending Archaeological Explanation beyond Archaeology
- Growing the Ancient Maya Social-Ecological System from the Bottom Up
- Wells, Land, and History: Archaeology and Rural Development in Southern Africa
- Participatory Checking and the Temporality of Landscapes: Increasing Trust and Relevance in Qualitative Research
- Freelisting as a Tool for Assessing Cognitive Realities of Landscape Transformation: A Case Study from Amazonia
- A 1980 Attempt at Reviving Ancient Irrigation Practices in the Pacific: Rationale, Failure, and Success
- The Invisible Landscape: The Etruscan <i>Cuniculi</i> of Tuscania as a Determinant of Present-Day Landscape and a Valuable Tool for Sustainable Water Management
- The Rehabilitation of Pre-Hispanic Agricultural Infrastructure to Support Rural Development in the Peruvian Andes: The Work of the Cusichaca Trust
- Applied Archaeology in the Americas: Evaluating Archaeological Solutions to the Impacts of Global Environmental Change
- Indigenous Technologies, Archaeology, and Rural Development in the Andes: Three Decades of Trials in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru
- Quality of Life and Prosperity in Ancient Households and Communities
- Applied Perspectives on Pre-Columbian Maya Water Management Systems: What are the Insights for Water Security?
- Beyond Rhetoric: Towards a Framework for an Applied Historical Ecology of Urban Planning
- Culture, Power, History: Implications for Understanding Global Environmental Change
- Energy Gain and the Evolution of Organization
- Conclusion: Anthropocentric Historical Ecology, Applied Archaeology, and the Future of a Usable Past
Abstract and Keywords
Understanding traditional Maya land use is key to interpreting ancient Maya settlement. The authors link the traditional Maya milpa cycle in use today with a predictive model of ancient settlement patterns through a spatial model for the El Pilar area. The model provides the number of residential units, and therefore population, projected based on the geographic variables of soil fertility, drainage, and slope, while the ethnographic records of maize yields from traditional Maya forest gardening provide the basis for subsistence. By classifying residential units and assuming average family sizes, the authors derive population estimates and ranges for the Late Classic Maya and demonstrate the potential of the milpa cycle to support significant populations at the height of the Maya civilization. Their work shows the value of indigenous strategies to produce food and household needs while conserving the forest, a strategy of potential use today and in the future.
Anabel Ford is director of the MesoAmerican Research Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara and President of the non-profit Exploring Solutions Past: The Maya Forest Alliance. She earned her MA and Ph.D. in Anthropology at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research, funded though scientific and development venues, focuses on the ancient Maya landscape, combining archaeological settlement survey with traditional ecological knowledge. Recognized for uncovering the ancient Maya city of El Pilar and inspiring the creation of the binational park on the border of Belize and Guatemala, she has been awarded Fulbright Scholarships and the Rolex Award for Enterprise.
Keith C. Clarke is Professor of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He earned the MA and Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Michigan. His work includes computational simulation and modelling, terrain analysis, cartography, and geographic information science. He has been awarded the CaGIS (Cartography and Geogrpahic Information Society) Distinguished Career Award, a Fulbright Distinguished Chair, and the John Wesley Powell award from the USGS (United States Geological Survey). He was a two-term chair of the National Academy of Sciences Mapping Science Committee, and for eight years served on the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration.
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