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UCSB Archaeologist Disputes Common Belief About Collapse of Maya Civilization
University of California, Santa Barbara ^ | December 9, 2009 | Journal of Ethnobiology UCSB, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara

Posted on 12/19/2009 7:43:25 PM PST by SunkenCiv

...Anabel Ford, an archaeologist at UC Santa Barbara and director of the university's MesoAmerican Research Center, suggests... that the forest gardens cultivated by the Maya demonstrate their great appreciation for the environment. Her findings are published in the current issue of the Journal of Ethnobiology in an article titled "Origins of the Maya Forest Garden: Maya Resource Management." ...The ancient Maya, who farmed without draft animals or plows, and had access only to stone tools and fire, followed what Ford calls the "milpa cycle." It is an ancient land use system by which a closed canopy forest is transformed into an open field for annual crops, then a managed orchard garden, and then a closed canopy forest again. The cycle covers a time period of 12 to 24 years. A misconception about the milpa cycle is that the fields lie fallow after several years of annual crop cultivation. "In reality, in the 'high-performance milpa,' fields are never abandoned, even when they are forested," Ford explains in the article. "The milpa cycle is a rotation of annuals with successive stages of forest perennials during which all phases receive careful human management.

(Excerpt) Read more at ia.ucsb.edu ...


TOPICS: History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: anabelford; blackdrink; godsgravesglyphs; maya; mayans; slashandburn
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1 posted on 12/19/2009 7:43:28 PM PST by SunkenCiv
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To: StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; 31R1O; ...

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic · subscribe ·

 
Gods
Graves
Glyphs
Years ago a couple of neighbors were watching me work at backyard gardening (no, I don't have glaucoma) and the one I'd been trying to nail, the schoolteacher as it turned out, got around to saying what a tragedy slash-and-burn ag is. The other woman had literally grown up in the rain forest of Ecuador, and asked her what she was talking about. Bravo for life's random juxtapositions.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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2 posted on 12/19/2009 7:46:21 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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To: SunkenCiv

I was under the impression, having read a good bit about it, that the Mayans used the ‘invade your neighbors and take them as slaves’ method. Except when they were sacrificed...


3 posted on 12/19/2009 7:47:02 PM PST by allmost
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To: SunkenCiv

I am now reading Colapse by Jared Diamond and he is a proponent of Man’s ecologiacal ruination of the world. This woman has a different perspective...cool


4 posted on 12/19/2009 7:49:41 PM PST by Chickensoup (We have the government we deserve.)
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To: SunkenCiv

The other woman had literally grown up in the rain forest of Ecuador, and asked her what she was talking about

So how did the rest of the conversation go?


5 posted on 12/19/2009 7:49:47 PM PST by Redcitizen (Zartan for President 2012)
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To: allmost

Perhaps I have become too skeptical, but for this article, which claims that “climate change” did in the Maya civilization, to come out the same time as Copenhagen, well, it stretches credulity a bit.


6 posted on 12/19/2009 7:53:20 PM PST by marktwain
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To: allmost

:’) They had continual wars and shifting alliances. Once in a while, some archrival would gather their forces, march in at night, catch another town by surprise, round up and kill the leadership via ritualistic torture, and leave a record of the slaughter, accounts that are just now being read (contrary to what was peddled in “National Treasure 2” — I’m not sure I’d mentioned today how much that movie sucked — Olmec writing, what there is of it, hasn’t quite been cracked, and it’s in the bag that it was never in use in North America, and wasn’t being read in the 19th century).


7 posted on 12/19/2009 7:53:29 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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To: Redcitizen

Little Miss Transactional Analysis backed down in the face of the eyewitness. :’)


8 posted on 12/19/2009 7:55:17 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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To: Chickensoup

:’)


9 posted on 12/19/2009 7:56:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Save the tree kill the people..

Sacrifice symbolized the renewal of the divine cosmic energy and the continuation of life. Its ability to do so is based on two intertwined concepts that are common to most Mesoamerican belief systems (in one form or another). The first is the notion that the gods had given life to mankind by sacrificing parts of their own bodies. The second is that blood, which often signified life among Maya belief systems, was partially made up of the blood of the gods (who sacrificed it and gave it to humans when creating life). Thus, to maintain order in their universe, the Maya, as well as most Mesoamerican groups, believed that blood and life had to be given back to the gods.

To the Mayans, the ritual of blood-letting was the most effective way to appease their gods to bring good luck or plentiful crops. An example of this can be seen in the limestone relief Shield Jaguar and Lady Xoc found in Mexico dated around 725 C.E. where Lady Xoc pierces her tongue with a thorny rope.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sacrifice_in_Maya_culture


10 posted on 12/19/2009 7:59:59 PM PST by GSP.FAN (These are the times that try men's souls.)
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To: marktwain

The climate change was natural.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1337000/1337859.stm

Here’s the other view:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2233504/posts

similar:

http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/2008-11-08-mayan-decline_N.htm

some other topics:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2104165/posts


11 posted on 12/19/2009 8:01:02 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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To: SunkenCiv
The Olmecs fascinated me a few decades ago, and still do. i have no doubt the seeds of later civilization in the area would be traced back to them if more was known.
If your labor/culture is based on fighting, killing, enslaving, and sacrificing your neighbors. Even a small amount of ecological shift would destabilize that scenario. A homogeneous culture would leave pockets. This did not happen. Tiered societal rankings, the Earth's natural variations, and an unsustainable social structure. Damn... sounds like today's news...
12 posted on 12/19/2009 8:04:40 PM PST by allmost
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To: marktwain
The speculation has been there for years. The reality is that if it was climate change, modern pollutants did not, could not, cause it. I enjoy reading about mesoamerican and south American pre-columbian civilizations. The romanticism in recent years is sickening though. War, blood, and enslavement were the pillars of societal structure. Tedious and hard to maintain when slight changes occur.
13 posted on 12/19/2009 8:19:41 PM PST by allmost
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To: allmost
that the Mayans used the ‘invade your neighbors and take them as slaves’ method.

Who do you think pulled the plows?

14 posted on 12/19/2009 8:30:30 PM PST by UCANSEE2 (<I>)
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To: Chickensoup
Jared Diamond posed the question, What happened after the Easter islanders cut down the last tree?

He has been riding that same hobby horse ever since. A gallon of lemonade made with one lemon.

15 posted on 12/19/2009 8:35:34 PM PST by hinckley buzzard
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To: allmost
Cradle of Chocolate?
by Roger Segelken
October 8, 1998
Digging through history to a time before agriculture, archaeologists from Cornell University and the University of California at Berkeley have found evidence of a village that was continuously occupied from 2000 B.C. to A.D. 1000 as well as hints to the secret of the community's remarkable longevity.

"My guess is, it all comes down to chocolate," says John S. Henderson, professor of anthropology at Cornell and co-director, together with Rosemary Joyce of Berkeley, of the archaeological dig at Puerto Escondido, Honduras. The type of ceremonial pottery uncovered by the archaeologists points to that region of Mesoamerica as a possible "Cradle of Chocolate."

16 posted on 12/19/2009 8:41:33 PM PST by SunkenCiv (My Sunday Feeling is that Nothing is easy. Goes for the rest of the week too.)
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To: SunkenCiv

30 years ago in Mexican East Coast we spent time with the Indians there. They took us to their gardens. Indeed, they were indistinguishable from the forest until you knew what to look for. Peppers and tomatoes were planted variously about in small openings from fallen trees. Tending the plants amounted to a couple of machete chops to keep back the wild vegetatian. It was cooler and moister than would have been in an open, cleared field.


17 posted on 12/19/2009 8:53:15 PM PST by Bhoy
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To: SunkenCiv
I've read they drank it unsweetened. Nasty. :)
18 posted on 12/19/2009 8:54:20 PM PST by allmost
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To: SunkenCiv

Attributing the lack of the use of draft animals to a love for the environment is stupid. Thats not evidence for motivation. Maybe they did not know HOW to use animals in that role?


19 posted on 12/19/2009 9:12:41 PM PST by GeronL
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To: allmost

who needs draft animals when you have slaves?


20 posted on 12/19/2009 9:13:21 PM PST by GeronL
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