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Ref ID: 25194
Ref Type: Book Section in a Series
Authors: Wilkinson, T. J.
Title: Comparative Landscape Analysis: Contrasting the Middle East and Maya Regions
Date: 2014
Source: The Resilience and Vulnerability of Ancient Landscapes: Transforming Maya Archaeology through IHOPE
Publisher: American Anthropological Association
Abstract: The Maya Lowlands and the Middle East occupy two contrasting latitudinal zones of ancient settlement, the former comprising part of the semi‐tropical belt of low‐density urbanism whereas in the Middle East dense nucleated settlement has predominated. Building upon the foundation lain down by Robert McC. Adams and published in 1966, but primarily drawing upon new evidence from archaeological landscape surveys, this paper explores the commonalities and contrasts between these two landscapes. Emphasis is placed upon settlement and landscape dynamics, specifically those features that contribute to our understanding of settlement sustainability or fragility. In addition, the different responses of large and small sites to both internal and external stresses are examined with particular reference to models of collapse and resilience. This paper selectively draws upon evidence from case studies from each geographical zone. These include those previously presented from the Maya region together with case studies drawn from the large data base available from Durham University's Fragile Crescent Project. Key features of settlement landscape dynamics include: agricultural intensification, polity size, transport networks, and patterns of exchange. In addition, reference is made to settlement landscapes in the sub‐humid and semi‐arid Yemen highlands which occupy a latitudinal zone equivalent to the Yucatan Peninsula and which show some characteristics of low density urbanism.
Date Created: 8/13/2019
Number: 24
Page Start: 183
Page End: 200
Series Editor: Goldstein, Lynne
Series Title: Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association