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Estudios de cultura maya

versión impresa ISSN 0185-2574


GUNN, Joel D.; FOLAN, William J.; DAY, John W.  y  FAUST, Betty B.. Laguna de Términos/Río Candelaria Core: Conditions of Sustainable Urban Occupation in the Interior of the Yucatán Peninsula. Estud. cult. maya [online]. 2012, vol.39, pp.67-97. ISSN 0185-2574.

Pursuit of a link between the collapse of Maya civilization and climate is a subject that has been revisited periodically for nearly a century. In the 1980s, we began to develop a climatic, paleoclimatic, and ethnographic model of horticultural production that would sustain urban life in an environment fundamentally hostile to large population aggregates. Our focus is on the appropriate conditions for the success of civilization, measured by architectural fluorishing, in the interior upland basins of the Yucatán Peninsula. To this we have added new research linking the now-collapsed interior cities and their bajo environments to near-shore deposits at the mouths of rivers. This study is based on the Candelaria River watershed of the southwestern Maya Lowlands in the modern Mexican state of Campeche. Campeche is separated from other regions of the Yucatán Peninsula by hills up to 400 m elevation. These elevated interior lands create important rain shadow effects, limitations on land use, and divide the landscape into valleys and basins. Past climates, local geography, and horticultural customs appear to be important to the success of civilizations in the interior. Results of the recent coring efforts suggest that the Maya of the Candelaria watershed controlled erosion during the period of greatest population, but lost control of it due to the ninth century drought and population dislocations.

Palabras llave : Candelaria River; Campeche; collapse of Maya; modeling climate.

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