9438Ma: Drought and the Maya Collapse
- Jan 23, 2003David R. Hixson wrote:
>The puuc zone sits hundreds of feet above the Yucatan aquifer...Martin Peach wrote:
>the water table, despite its name, is not flat, but follows theLet me provide an example... The site of Kiuic sits in the puuc
region, near the town of Yaxhachen. I worked for a winter helping
the community of Yaxhachen improve their potable water system.
They rely exclusively upon two wells that could tap into the
Yucatan aquifer, both dug by the government using heavy machinery
to a depth of ca. 300 ft below surface. During the dry season,
even these wells can dry up for short periods, leaving the village
with whatever water they have pumped into above-ground cisterns.
If you prefer non-anecdotal evidence, may I once again recommend
the works by Nick Dunning.
David Hixson wrote:
>The migration scenario would also fail to explain theMartin Peach wrote:
>contemporaneous depopulation of other northern Maya areas with
>excellent access to ground water.
>In the context of a collapse of larger scale social organization,Then I guess I don't understand why were you arguing earlier
>lowlands would not be safe places to live.
(1/21/03) for a migration into the lowlands, sparked by a
drought, where populations would have concentrated around access
to cenotes? My point above was simply to illustrate that
Chichen's growth in the Terminal Classic cannot be explained only
by its access to water (since contemporaneous sites underwent
population decline at this time, even in areas with excellent
access to the aquifer).
Martin Peach wrote:
>The hills are safer places to live in, you don't need toOnce again, I recommend you examine true hilltop fortifications
>build walls, they are already there. Contemporary 'guerillas'
>know this very well. The expansion of cities is consistent with
>an abandonment of the countryside because it was too dry and
>because it was too dangerous..
elsewhere in Mesoamerica. The Puuc sites do not fit such a
pattern well. Additionally, you are clearly stating that prior
to the Terminal Classic the Maya of the northern lowlands were
largely rural, a statement that cannot be supported with current
data. From Coba to Chac to Izamal to Oxkintok to Chunchucmil,
past and ongoing research has shown that the Classic period in
the north was quite vibrant, with vigorous inter-regional trade
and complex political systems, and in some locations was truly
urban by any definition.
I guess that makes it my $0.04
All the best,
David R. Hixson
Department of Anthropology
Mesoamerican Photo Archives Project:
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