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Ref ID: 25197
Ref Type: Book Section in a Series
Authors: Chase, Diane Z.
Chase, Arlen F.
Title: Path Dependency in the Rise and Denouement of a Classic Maya City: The Case of Caracol, Belize
Date: 2014
Source: The Resilience and Vulnerability of Ancient Landscapes: Transforming Maya Archaeology through IHOPE
Abstract: With an anthropomorphic landscape that completely covered over 130 square kilometers with agricultural terraces in antiquity, Caracol, Belize provides an excellent place to review ancient resilience, rigidity, and path dependency. A population center with over 100,000 people in C.E. 700, Caracol subsisted on change and growth for its initial 1000 years of existence. However, Caracol also developed a relatively unique form of adaptation, one focused on establishing stability through social cohesion during its acme. These adaptations helped Caracol endure the changes wrought by climate change and inter‐polity strife until the onset of the 10th century. At this point, elite mechanizations removed the well‐established social buffers and Caracol succumbed to external political pressures that combined with environmental forces to create an untenable situation. Path dependency left the ancient Maya of Caracol unable to adapt to the ultimate threat posed by external changes beyond their control.
Date Created: 8/13/2019
Editors: Chase, Arlen F.
Scarborough, Vernon L.
Number: 24
Page Start: 142
Page End: 154