Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

USE OF AGUADAS AS WATER MANAGEMENT SOURCES IN TWO SOUTHERN MAYA LOWLAND SITES

  • Ezgi Akpinar Ferrand (a1), Nicholas P. Dunning (a2), David L. Lentz (a3) and John G. Jones (a4)

Abstract

Aguadas, either natural or human-made ponds, were significant sources of water for the ancient Maya. Aguadas are common features in the Maya Lowlands and make valuable locations for collecting archaeological and paleoenvironmental data. This article discusses research conducted at four aguadas around two adjacent Maya sites, San Bartolo and Xultun in Peten, Guatemala. Both San Bartolo and Xultun were established during the Preclassic period. However, the fates of the two sites differed, as Xultun continued to prosper while the city of San Bartolo was abandoned near the close of the Late Preclassic period. We argue that aguadas provide important clues for understanding the fate of these two ancient communities and many others in the Maya Lowlands.

Copyright

Corresponding author

E-mail correspondence to: akpinarfere1@southernct.edu

References

Hide All
Adams, Richard E.W. 1981 Settlement Patterns of the Central Yucatan and Southern Campeche Regions. In Lowland Maya Settlement Patterns, edited by Ashmore, Wendy, pp. 211259. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque.
Ancona, Eligio 1889 Historia de Yucatan: Desde la epoca mas remota. Parte Primera. Imprenta de Jaime Jepus Roviralta, Barcelona.
Brenner, Mark, Hodell, David A., Curtis, Jason H., Rosenmeier, Michael F., Anselmetti, Flavio S., and Ariztegui, Daniel 2003 Paleolimnological Approaches for Inferring Past Climate Change in the Maya Region: Recent Advances and Methodological Limitations. In The Lowland Maya Area, edited by Gomez-Pompa, Arturo, Allen, Michael, Fedick, Scott L., and Jimenez-Osornio, Juan J.. pp. 4560. Food Products Press, New York.
Brewer, Jeffrey L. 2007 Understanding the Role of a Small Depression in Ancient Maya Water Management at the Medicinal Trail Site, Northwest Belize. Unpublished Master's thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati.
Bullard, William R. Jr. 1960 Maya Settlement Patterns in Northeastern Peten, Guatemala. American Antiquity 25: 355372.
Chmilar, Jennifer 2005 Ancient Maya Water Management: Archaeological Investigations at Turtle Pond, Northwestern Belize. Unpublished Master's thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati.
Curtis, Jason H., Brenner, Mark, Hodell, David A., Balser, Richard A., Islebe, Gerald A., and Hooghiemstra, Henry 1998 A Multi-Proxy Study of Holocene Environmental Change in the Maya Lowlands of Peten, Guatemala. Journal of Paleolimnology 19(2):139159.
Davis-Salazar, Karla L. 2003 Late Classic Maya Water Management and Community Organization at Copan, Honduras. Latin American Antiquity 14:275299.
Dunning, Nicholas P., Akpinar, Ezgi, Carr, Chris, Griffin, Robert, Jones, John G., Lentz, David L., Miller, Andrew, and Prater, Jasmine 2007 Investigaciones geoarqueológicas y del medioambiente en los alrededores de San Bartolo, Peten. In Proyecto Arqueológico San Bartolo: Informe Preliminar No. 6, Sexta Temporada, edited by Urquizú, Monica and Saturno, William. Dirección de Patrimonio Cultural y Natural de Guatemala, Guatemala City.
Dunning, Nicholas P., Akpinar, Ezgi, and Jones, John G. 2008 A Tale of Two Cities: Aguadas and the Fates of San Bartolo and Xultun. Paper presented at the American Association of Geographers Conference Proceedings, Boston.
Dunning, Nicholas P., Beach, Timothy P., Farrell, Patrice, and Luzzadder-Beach, Sheryl 1998 Prehispanic Agrosystems and Adaptive Regions in the Maya Lowlands. Culture and Agriculture 20:87100.
Dunning, Nicholas P., Chmilar, Jennifer, Blevins, Mark, and Jones, John G. 2005 Investigaciones geoarqueológicas y del medio ambiente en los alrededores de San Bartolo, Peten. In Proyecto Arqueológico San Bartolo: Informe Preliminar No. 4, Cuarta Temporada 2005, edited by Urquizú, Mónica and Saturno, William, pp. 610624. Instituto de Antropología e Historia de Guatemala, Guatemala City.
Dunning, Nicholas P., Jones, John. G., Beach, Timothy P., and Luzzadder-Beach, Sheryl 2003 Physiography, Habitats, and Landscapes of the Three Rivers Region. In Heterarchy, Political Economy, and the Ancient Maya: The Three Rivers Region of the East-Central Yucatan Peninsula, edited by Scarborough, Vernon, Valdez, Fred Jr., and Dunning, Nicholas P., pp. 1424. University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
Dunning, Nicholas P., Wahl, David, Beach, Timothy P., Jones, John G., Luzzadder-Beach, Sheryl, and McCormick, Carmen 2012 Environmental Instability and Human Response in the Late Preclassic East-Central Yucatan Peninsula. In The Great Maya Droughts in Cultural Context, edited by Iannone, G.. University of Colorado Press, Boulder. (In press)
Erdtman, Gunnar 1960 The Acetolysis Method: A Revised Description. Svensk Botanisk Tidskrift 54:561564.
Essington, Michael E. 2003 Soil and Water Chemistry. CRC Press, Boca Raton.
Garrison, Thomas G. 2007 Ancient Maya Territories, Adaptive Regions, and Alliances: Contextualizing the San Bartolo-Xultun Intersite Survey. Ph.D. Dissertation, Department of Anthropology, Harvard University, Boston. University Microfilms Inc., Ann Arbor.
Garrison, Thomas G., and Dunning, Nicholas P. 2009 Settlement, Environment, and Politics in the San Bartolo-Xultun Territory, El Petén, Guatemala. Latin American Antiquity 20:525552.
Goulden, Clyde E. 1966 An Interpretative Study of the Cladoceran Microfossils. Archiv fur Hydrobiologie 62:373404.
Hester, Thomas R., and Shafer, Harry J. 1984 Exploitation of Chert Resources by the Ancient Maya of Northern Belize. World Archaeology 16:157173.
Hodell, David A., Brenner, Mark, Curtis, Jason H., and Guilderson, Thomas 2001 Solar Forcing of Drought Frequency in the Maya Lowlands. Science 292:13671370.
Lentz, David L., and Dickau, Ruth 2005 Seeds of Central America and Southern Mexico: The Economic Species. Memoirs of the New York Botanical Garden, Vol. 91. New York Botanical Garden Press, New York.
Lohse, John C. 2004 Intra-Site Settlement Signatures and Implictions for Late Classic Maya Commoner Organzation at Dos Hombres, Belize. In Ancient Maya Commoners, edited by Valdez, Fred Jr. and Lohse, John C., pp. 117146. University of Texas Press, Austin.
Lucero, Lisa L. 2002 The Collapse of the Classic Maya: A Case for the Role of Water Control. American Anthropologist 104:814826.
Luna, V., FigueroaS., J. S., J.BaltazarM., B. M., B.GomezM., R. M., R.TownsendL., R. L., R., and Schoper, J.B. 2001 Maize Pollen Longevity and Distance Isolation Requirements for Effective Pollen Control. Crop Science 41:15511557.
Moholy-Nagy, Hattula 1978 The Utilization of Pomacea Snails at Tikal, Guatemala. American Antiquity 43:6573.
Monroe, Watson H. 1970 A Glossary of Karst Terminology. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1899-K. United States Geological Survey and the United States Department of the Interior. United States Government Printing Office, Washington, DC.
Mueller, Andreas D., Islebe, Gerald A., Hillesheim, Michael B., Grsesik, Dustin A., Anselmetti, Flavio S., Ariztegui, Daniel, Brenner, Mark, Curtis, Jason H., Hodell, David A., and Venz, Kathryn A. 2009 Climate Drying and Associated Forest Decline in the Lowlands of Northern Guatemala during the Late Holocene. Quaternary Research 71:133141.
Reining, Conrad, and Heinzman, Robert 1992 Non-timber Forest Products in the Peten Guatemala: Why Extractive Reserves are Critical for Both Conservation and Development. In Sustainable Harvest and Marketing of Rain Forest Products, edited by Plotkin, Mark J. and Famolare, Lisa, pp. 110117. Conservation International Foundation, Washington, DC.
Reyes, Fatima 2004 Vegetación asociada a Las Aguadas del Parque Nacional Tikal, Petén. In Informe Final de Investigación EDC, Escuela de Biología, edited by Enriquez, Eunice, Morales, Julio, and Avila, Rafael Carlos, pp. 2260. Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Guatemala City.
Rivera Castillo, Pedro 2007 Resultados Preliminares del Análisis Cerámico de la Cuarta Temporada. In Proyecto Arqueológico San Bartolo: Informe Preliminar No. 6, Sexta Temporada 2007, edited by Urquizú, Monica and Saturno, William. Dirección de Patrimonio Cultural y Natural de Guatemala, Guatemala City.
Rosenmeier, Michael F., Hodell, David A., Brenner, Mark, Curtis, Jason H., and Guilderson, Thomas P. 2002 A 4000-year Lacustrine Record of Environmental Change in the Southern Maya Lowlands, Petén. Quaternary Research 57:183190.
Saturno, William, Stuart, David, and Beltran, Boris 2006 Early Maya Writing at San Bartolo, Guatemala. Science 311:12811283.
Scarborough, Vernon 1994 The Pre-Hispanic Maya Reservoir System at Kinal, Petén, Guatemala. Ancient Mesoamerica 5:97106.
Schwartz, Norman B. 1990 Forest Society. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.
Siemens, Alfred 1978 Karst and the Pre-Hispanic Maya in the Southern Lowlands. In Pre-Hispanic Maya Agriculture, edited by Harrison, Peter D. and Turner, William L. II, pp. 117145. University of Mexico Press, Albuquerque.
Solleiro-Rebolledo, E., Cabadas-Baez, H.V., Pi, P.T., Gonzalez, A., Fedick, Scott L., Chmilar, Jennifer A., and Leonard, D. 2011 Genesis of Hydromorphic Calcisols in Wetlands of the Northeast Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico. Geomorphology 135:322331.
Storozum, Michael 2009 Ancient Maya Water Management: Investigations at Aguada Hormiguero, Peten, Guatemala. Unpublished Bachelor's honors thesis, Department of Archaeology, Boston University, Boston.
Villaseñor Alonso, Maria I. 2009 Lowland Maya Lime Plaster Technology: A Diachronic Approach. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation, Institute of Archaeology, University College London, London.
Wahl, David, Schreiner, Thomas, Byrne, Roger, and Hansen, Richard 2007 A Paleoecological Record from a Late Classic Maya Reservoir in the North Peten. Latin American Antiquity 18:212222.
Wahl, David, Byrne, Roger, Schreiner, Thomas, and Hansen, Richard 2006 Holocene Vegetation Change in the Northern Peten and Its Implications for Maya Prehistory. Quaternary Research 65:380389.
Weiss-Krejci, Estella, and Sabbas, Thomas 2002 The Potential Role of Small Depressions as Water Storage Features in the Central Maya Lowlands. Latin American Antiquity 13:343357.
Weiss-Krejci, Estella, Akpinar-Ferrand, Ezgi, Dunning, Nicholas P., Brandl, Michael, Jones, John G., and Lentz, David 2011 Tok', Nal', Ha': Ancient Maya Resource Management at an Aguada in Northwestern Belize. Unpublished manuscript on file, Department of Anthropology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati.
Wernecke, Clark D. 2008 A Burning Question: Maya Lime Technology and the Maya Forest. Journal of Ethnobiology 28:200210.

Related content

Powered by UNSILO

USE OF AGUADAS AS WATER MANAGEMENT SOURCES IN TWO SOUTHERN MAYA LOWLAND SITES

  • Ezgi Akpinar Ferrand (a1), Nicholas P. Dunning (a2), David L. Lentz (a3) and John G. Jones (a4)

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.