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Ref ID: 25196
Ref Type: Book Section in a Series
Authors: Iannone, Gyles
Prufer, Keith
Chase, Diane Z.
Title: Resilience and Vulnerability in the Maya Hinterlands
Date: 2014
Source: The Resilience and Vulnerability of Ancient Landscapes: Transforming Maya Archaeology through IHOPE
Publisher: American Anthropological Association
Abstract: Given their grand architecture, intricately carved monuments, and colorful histories, the largest Maya centers have long drawn the attention of archaeologists and non‐specialists alike. Early interest in the infamous Maya collapse was, in fact, initially inspired by the discovery of these “lost cities in the jungle.” This research focus was further stimulated by advances in deciphering the Maya hieroglyphic script, and the recognition that monument erection—or in other words, the written histories of most of the southern Lowland centers—came to a rather abrupt end in the 9th century C.E. IHOPE scholars are attempting to elucidate the conditions that lead to the decline of these impressive centers. In doing so, the trajectories of smaller communities, and or those located in hinterlands between the more prominent centers, have emerged as interesting counterpoints that provide unique, and no less significant, examples of resilience and vulnerability. The emerging data suggest that these communities had specific strengths and weaknesses, which in turn provided them with a particular set of challenges, as well as a specific range of coping mechanisms they could marshal when dealing with their ever‐changing environment circumstances (i.e., climate change, resource availability, landscape modifications), and the highly dynamic geopolitical landscape within which they were embedded. This chapter will discuss some of the key insights derived from our examination of hinterland communities, with particular attention being paid to the broader implications of the contrasting trajectories exhibited by these segments of ancient Maya society.
Date Created: 8/13/2019
Editors: Chase, Arlen F.
Scarborough, Vernon L.
Number: 24
Page Start: 155
Page End: 170
Series Editor: Goldstein, Lynne
Series Title: Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association