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Wetland Manipulation in the Yalahau Region of the Northern Maya Lowlands

Scott L. Fedick, Bethany A. Morrison, Bente Juhl Andersen, Sylviane Boucher, Jorge Ceja Acosta and Jennifer P. Mathews
Journal of Field Archaeology
Vol. 27, No. 2 (Summer, 2000), pp. 131-152
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/530589
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/530589
Page Count: 22
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Wetland Manipulation in the Yalahau Region of the Northern Maya Lowlands
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Abstract

Manipulation of wetlands for agricultural purposes by the ancient Maya of southern Mexico and Central America has been a subject of much research and debate since the 1970s. Evidence for wetland cultivation systems, in the form of drained or channelized fields, and raised planting platforms, has been restricted primarily to the southern Maya Lowlands. New research in the Yalahau region of Quintana Roo, Mexico, has recorded evidence for wetland manipulation in the far northern lowlands, in the form of rock alignments that apparently functioned to control water movement and soil accumulation in seasonally inundated areas. Nearby ancient settlements date primarily to the Late Preclassic period (ca. 100 B.C. to A.C. 350), and this age is tentatively attributed to wetland management in the area.

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