Article ID: CBB368622810

Monumentality as traditional ecological knowledge in the northern Maya lowlands (2023)


The emergence of monumentality in the Maya lowlands has been linked to political complexity. But how did the emergence of these monuments relate to changing human-environment interactions? Here, the author proposes that Maya monumentality embodies traditional ecological knowledge, or TEK. Taking the example of Tzacauil, the gathering of fieldstone for the preparation of land for cultivation is connected to agricultural intensification and the florescence of monumentality in the Late and Terminal Formative period (300 BC–AD 250). Exploration of the relationships between monumental traditions and localised TEK practices may illuminate the entanglement of complexity, subsistence and human-environment interactions in other parts of the world.

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Authors & Contributors
Bennett, Judith A.
González-García, A. César
Hannah, Robert
Incerti, Manuela
Laveaga, Gabriela Soto
Law, John
Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry
Journal of Astronomical History and Heritage
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences
Journal of Skyscape Archaeology
Agricultural History
Environment and History
Harvard University
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
University Press of Kansas
Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK)
Indigenous peoples; indigeneity
Time Periods
19th century
20th century, early
Iron age
18th century
20th century, late
Rome (Italy)
North America

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