The timing, magnitude and drivers of late Holocene environmental change in the Holmul region of the southern Maya lowlands are examined by combining paleoenvironmental and archeological data. Environmental proxy analyses on a ~ 3350 cal yr lacustrine sediment record include pollen, charcoal, loss on ignition, magnetic suscep- tibility, and elemental geochemistry. Archeological evidence is derived from extensive settlement surveys conducted near the study site. Results indicate nearby settlement and agricultural activity taking place in an environment characterized by open forest from around 3350 to 950 cal yr BP. The fire history shows a dramatic increase in burning during the Classic period, possibly reflecting changing agricultural strategies. A distinct band of carbonate deposited from 1270 to 1040 cal yr BP suggests decreased hydrologic input associated with drier conditions. Abrupt changes in proxy data around 940 cal yr BP indicate a cessation of human disturbance and local abandonment of the area.
|Title||A 3400 year paleolimnological record of prehispanic human–environment interactions in the Holmul region of the southern Maya lowlands|
|Authors||David B. Wahl, Francisco Estrada-Belli, Lysanna Anderson|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Geology, Minerals, Energy, and Geophysics Science Center|