Classic Maya landscape in the upper Usumacinta River valley
AdvisorKelley, David H.
AuthorAliphat, Mario M.
LccF 1219.1 U8 A35 1994
LcshUsumacinta River Valley (Guatemala and Mexico) - Antiquities
Landscape archaeology - Usumacinta River Valley (Guatemala and Mexico)
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AbstractThe Usumacinta River Basin in Chiapas, Mexico witnessed the growth and florescence of the Classic Maya civilization. However, the area has been relatively little explored archaeologically in comparison to other lowland Classic Maya areas such as Belize and the Peten in Guatemala. The primary objective of this thesis is to provide a broad base of data concerning the Upper Usmacinta River Basin on which to build a comprehensive knowledge of the Classic Maya in this area. The data base is presented from the perspective of landscape studies in archaeology, which transcend the purely ecological, economical or iconographical approaches to understanding the rise of past civilizations. The study area, defined hydrologically, is explored in terms of the structural geology, the geomorphology, the soils, and the vegetation to develop an approximation of the physical and biotic landscapes. These data, which are provided in the form of maps and figures, are then compared with the location of known archaeological sites in the Upper Usumacinta River Basin. The correlation of settlement location with natural and biotic landscape features provides the basis for the generation of a proposed political landscape for a specific period of Classic Maya times. The results of this landscape analysis support the idea that settlement decisions are influenced-by physical and biotic landscape features. For the study area, it is proposed that the location of sites corresponds to landscape features which facilitate the movement of goods and the maintenance of interaction along the Usumacinta River in downstream travel and through geologically-defined valleys in overland travel in the upstream direction.
Bibliography: p. 219-240.
CitationAliphat, M. M. (1994). Classic Maya landscape in the upper Usumacinta River valley (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB. doi:10.11575/PRISM/21704
InstitutionUniversity of Calgary
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