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The Great Maya Droughts in Cultural Context
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In The Great Maya Droughts in Cultural Context, contributors reject the popularized link between societal collapse and drought in Maya civilization, arguing that a series of periodic “collapses,” including the infamous Terminal Classic collapse (AD 750–1050), were not caused solely by climate change–related droughts but by a combination of other social, political, and environmental factors. New and senior scholars of archaeology and environmental science explore the timing and intensity of droughts and provide a nuanced understanding of socio-ecological dynamics, with specific reference to what makes communities resilient or vulnerable when faced with environmental change.Contributors recognize the existence of four droughts that correlate with periods of demographic and political decline and identify a variety of concurrent political and social issues. They argue that these primary underlying factors were exacerbated by drought conditions and ultimately led to societal transitions that were by no means uniform across various sites and subregions. They also deconstruct the concept of “collapse” itself—although the line of Maya kings ended with the Terminal Classic collapse, the Maya people and their civilization survived.

The Great Maya Droughts in Cultural Context offers new insights into the complicated series of events that impacted the decline of Maya civilization. This significant contribution to our increasingly comprehensive understanding of ancient Maya culture will be of interest to students and scholars of archaeology, anthropology, geography, and environmental studies.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright Page
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Figures
  2. pp. xi-xvi
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  1. Tables
  2. pp. xvii-xviii
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  1. Contributors
  2. pp. xix-xxii
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  1. 1: Introduction
  2. Gyles Iannone
  3. pp. 1-20
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  1. 2: The Dynamics of Ancient Maya Developmental History
  2. James Aimers and Gyles Iannone
  3. pp. 21-50
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  1. 3: Assessing the Great Maya Droughts
  2. Gyles Iannone, Jason Yaeger, and David Hodell
  3. pp. 51-70
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  1. 4: Agricultural Landscapes, Deforestation, and Drought Severity
  2. Robert Griffin, Robert Oglesby, Thomas Sever, and Udaysankar Nair
  3. pp. 71-86
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  1. 5: Climate Change in the Ancient Maya Forest
  2. Anabel Ford and Ronald Nigh
  3. pp. 87-106
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  1. 6: The End of the Beginning
  2. Nicholas Dunning, David Wahl, Timothy Beach, John Jones, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, and Carmen McCane
  3. pp. 107-126
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  1. 7: A Tale of Three Cities
  2. Bruce H. Dahlin and Arlen F. Chase
  3. pp. 127-156
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  1. 8: Collapse without Drought
  2. Matt O’Mansky
  3. pp. 157-176
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  1. 9: The Classic Maya Collapse, Water, and Economic Change in Mesoamerica
  2. Arthur A. Demarest
  3. pp. 177-206
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  1. 10: Water in the West
  2. Andrew K. Scherer and Charles Golden
  3. pp. 207-230
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  1. 11: Oxygen Isotopes from Maya Archaeological Deer Remains
  2. Antoine Repussard, Henry P. Schwarcz, Kitty F. Emery, and Erin Kennedy Thornton
  3. pp. 231-254
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  1. 12: The Prehistoric Maya of Northern Belize
  2. Fred Valdez and Vernon Scarborough
  3. pp. 255-270
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  1. 13: An Archaeological Consideration of Long-Term Socioecological Dynamics on the Vaca Plateau, Belize
  2. Gyles Iannone, Arlen F. Chase, Diane Z. Chase, Jaime Awe, Holley Moyes, George Brook, Jason Polk, James Webster, and James Conolly
  3. pp. 271-300
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  1. 14: Tracking Climate Changein the Ancient Maya World through Zooarchaeological Habitat Analyses
  2. Kitty F. Emery and Erin Kennedy Thornton
  3. pp. 301-332
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  1. 15: Maya Drought and Niche Inheritance
  2. David Webster
  3. pp. 333-358
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  1. References
  2. pp. 359-450
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 451-466
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