Mayan Lowlands And The Environmental Changes Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

lowland Maya decimation is much more than at any time before, and there are currently several studies that concentrate on the period from roughly A.D. 750 to A.D.1050. Previously, researchers have had a tendency to sum up clarifications of the decimation from individual locales and areas to the marshes in totality. Later methodologies push the extraordinary differences of changes that took place over the swamps amid the Terminal Classic and Early Post classic periods. Along these lines, there is presently a general agreement on the view that Maya culture and civilization in general did not fall, albeit numerous zones did experience significant change

Present scenarios are the result of the long haul elements of human-environment interplay. The fact of the matter is that, we have a long-term viewpoint, keeping in mind the end goal to best comprehend continual changes in ambient environs we observe in present times

. Analysis of changes can likewise uncover paramount pieces of information about the social and natural motion connected with the ascent and decent of aged civilizations

. Apropos such examinations there is a forceful hypothetical premise for the incorporation of paleo-environmental and archeological research so as to see all the more completely the effects of ancient social orders on the nature. Geographers have assumed a discriminating part in this work, utilizing a mix of authentic, archeological, geo-archeological, and physical land methodologies to help build the time profundity, spatial reach, and causation, of both purposeful and inadvertent human affected natural change connected with pre-Columbian populaces in the New World.

This natural change ranks as the most noteworthy and enduring anthropogenic ecological changes noted in the pre-Columbian New World. Our work proceeds along a convention of geological research on the environment and utilization of wetlands in the pre-Hispanic Americas. Conventional models of Maya human advancement set a successive, linearized development of a growing populace of multifaceted parameters starting in the Early Pre-classic era (ca. 1000 B.C.) and finishing rather abruptly in the "collapse" of Classic civilization in the Terminal Classic (ca. A.D. 900). We now realize that Maya civilization endured other critical disturbances preceding the Classic decimation, including the deserting of a percentage of the biggest urban regions towards the end of the Late Pre-classic era (ca.ad150). In this paper we report new proofs towards both the decimation of these early habitats and the development of later urban areas identify with anthropogenic changes in wetland environs3.

A major portion of the biggest and early regions of interests of Lowland Maya occupation created along the edges of extensive karst depressions known as bajos, a spatial relationship that has since quite a while ago caught the imagination of researchers. Today huge numbers of these bajos are seasonal wetlands, biological systems that most Mayanists perceive as deprived of any worth. To clarify the association of bajos and the ancient Maya, a few researchers proposed that a majority of these land bowls were once lakes or perpetual wetlands, but most have rejected this notion because of lack of sufficient evidence. We utilize paleo-natural and archeological information in proximity of the Maya urban communities of La Milpa, Belize and Yaxha, Guatemala to show that a few bajos close to them contained much bigger regions of lasting wetlands (with some still wet) preceding about AD 250. These wet bio-systems were conceivably a more appealing settlement area than the regular bogs found presently. We contend that human-instigated ecological change, coupled with climatic change, did cause a change in these bajos some 1,700 to 3,000 years ago. These progressions may help clarify why some early Maya urban focuses were relinquished close to the end of the Late Preclassic period (400 BC-AD 150) and others adjusted intricate water-stocking frameworks. Such ecological changes and causative large capacity frameworks may have been paramount components in the developing political structure of Classic Maya human progress. As significant as the change of the bajos seemed to be, it is similarly significant that in numerous regions the Maya effectively adjusted to as well as prospered in the changed environment all through the Classic period (AD 250-900)3.

Cultural Historical Context

Mayans started settling in the Lowlands as early 4,000 B.C., at first in smaller, scattered cultivating groups. The earliest recognized major urban regions in the Maya Lowlands, Nakbe and El Mirador,...
...These regions proximate the biggest bajos in the area. Numerous other substantial Maya groups in the southern Lowlands, for example, Tikal, Calakmul, Uaxactun, Rio Azul, and La Milpa, had their beginnings in Preclassic times yet kept on prospering and develop in the following Protoclassic and Classic periods (AD 150-900). These towns also proximate the bajos. There is confirmation about the fact that many these groups that continued started building supplies and other water and area management structures closing upon the Preclassic period and into the Classic. Spanning across the Maya Lowlands, the populace kept on growing consistently all through the Classic period up to the time of the "Classic Collapse," during AD 800 and 900, when populaces deep within Lowlands plunged abruptly and numerous abandonment was rife and complete3.

Terminal Classic Variation in the Maya Lowlands

In the southern swamps, the Terminal Classic has generally alluded to the time of fall and relinquishment of numerous destinations toward the end of the Classic. Massive construction and the erection of stelae finished at numerous locales, albeit at times Terminal Classic inhabitants lived in older constructions. A major event at the time is the collapse of perfect sovereignty. Happenings in the northern swamps are diverse, and shining with brilliance even as destinations are breaking down in the south followed by an overall, general decimation, albeit with variation thrown in .

About till twenty years ago the Early Post classic period in many parts of the swamps was by and large supposed to witness cultural decline. The high-end structural engineering and curios so well-known from Late Classic times significantly difficult to find, and class discrimination seem to have been less maintained than in the Classic period. Apropos, this can be viewed as a social adjustment to circumstances that made the expenses of maintaining opulence difficult to manage and continue. In this manner, Masson

terms the Post classic "a fallout of oppression." In spite of the decimation of numerous destinations, the Post classic (Early and Late) was a time of development and vibrant activity at numerous others.Many late records of the breakdown emphasize the continuing trends of craftsmanship and practices from the Classic into the Post classic indicating that the Terminal Classic fluctuated at diverse locales from about A.D. 750 - A.D. 1050. Accordingly, the Terminal Classic is a more of a stage than a phase

. This transient and spatial variance has prompted diverse phrasing based on whether the Terminal Classic is dealt with as a different period or as a major aspect of an extended transition into Early Post Classic. In zones where the breakdown of destinations was most sensational (e.g., in the western Pete'n or Copa'n), it is easier to differentiate the two as the changes are clear. In different zones, for example, northern Belize, gradualism in crafts and congruity in site occupation make the two periods look similar, and the periods are regularly consolidated under terms like "the Terminal Classic to Early Post classic Transition." In the present discussion, Terminal Classic and Post classic are treated independently when they have been dealt likewise and together when consolidated. Researchers condense this transient variance for regions across the marshes in tables1.

Archeologists now concur that there is territorial and even site-by-site breakdown variance, and latest studies offer diverse clarifications. Case in point, ecological clarifications of the breakdown coincide frequently (e.g., dry season, sustainability, deforestation, and soil disintegration). Few researchers assign breakdown to ecological variables alone and most ascribe it to lack of recognition by Maya pioneers, and this has prompted a few studies that portray the breakdown as a type of ideological demise or a time of major ideological reincarnation. Thus, the classification in Table 1 definitely streamlines complex contentions and ought to be regarded simply as a premise for subjects recorded. Over the marshes, the Terminal Classic was a period in which components of Classic Maya society and society were revisited, with cause. A few parts of Classic Maya progress seem to have been persisted with, while others were deserted or significantly realigned. This is normal occurrence in many declines everywhere

. Some outstanding contrasts that we see between the Classic and the Post classic are regular outcomes of breakdown in diverse cultures: (1) A decrease in opulence (e.g., carved stelae, magnificent structural engineering) recommends diminished social segmentation and decentralized power structure not found in Classic period. The relinquishment of the Long Count can also be viewed as proof of a return to an accentuation on "corporate" over "system" modes of political association. (2) Trade assumed a focal part for destinations and areas that survived…

Sources Used in Documents:


Aimers, James J. "What Maya Collapse-Terminal Classic Variation in the Maya Lowlands." Springer Science+Business Media (2007): 330-337.

Oldfield, F., ed. 1998. Past global changes (PAGES): Status reportand implementation plan. IGBP Report 45. Stockholm: International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme

Dunning, Nicholas, et al. Arising from the Bajos: The Evolution of a Neotropical Landscape and the Rise of Maya Civilization. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2002.

Chase, A.F., and Chase, D.Z. (1992). El norte y el sur: pol?'tica, dominios y evolucio'n cultural maya.Mayab 8: 134 -- 149

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