Satellite: Evolution of Ancient Maya Society as a Complex System

Wednesday, September 30, 2015
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Hilton Doubletree: Tempe

Satellite Organizers:

Arlen Chase, University of Central Florida, USA
Diane Chase, University of Central Florida, USA
Keith Prufer, University of New Mexico, USA
Vernon Scarborough, University of Cincinnati, USA

Abstract

The ancient Maya civilization of Central America constitutes an excellent test-bed for viewing human-natural relationships on a long-term basis. The resilience, vulnerability, and sustainability of the ancient peoples residing in the area covered by Maya civilization has been a focus for a group of scholars since 2009. IHOPE-Maya is an attempt by researchers to utilize the archaeological record to understand the intricacies of the social and natural relationships of the ancient Maya and how they changed over time. Extending this discussion into the arena of complex systems is a logical next direction for this group. The proposed session will cover four specific topics: (1) how is ancient demography best approached (and through which proxies); (2) how did regional climate affect and effect change among different parts of the Maya area; (3) how (and why) did land use create anthropogenic landscapes; and, (4) what was the impact of urbanization on ancient Maya societies. Each of the four topics will be introduced by a presentation/paper that will lead to an expanded discussion among the extended group of IHOPE participants. The presentation on demography will be made by A.F. Chase; the presentation on regional climate will be made by K. Prufer; the presentation on anthropogenic landscapes will be made by D.Z. Chase; and, the presentation on urbanization will be made by Michael Smith (ASU) in concert with A.F. Chase. Each presentation will be followed by a broader discussion with members of IHOPE-Maya and other attendees. These broader discussions will help to position the evolution of ancient Maya society as part of a complex system over both time and space. The exposure of the IHOPE-Maya participants to the more structured CCS’15 conference presentations will help in further developing the future goals of this research group.

Speakers

Linkages Between Climate and Environmental Changes Since 500 BCE: Assessing the Roles of Micro and Macro Level Changes in the Tropical Lowlands
Keith Prufer, University of New Mexico, USA
Arlen Chase, University of Central Florida, USA

Determining Ancient Maya Demography and Population Change over Time
Arlen Chase, University of Central Florida, USA
Diane Chase, University of Central Florida, USA

Land Use, Scaling, and the Ancient Maya
Diane Chase, University of Central Florida, USA
Arlen Chase, University of Central Florida, USA

The Impact of Urbanization on a Maya Complex System
Arlen Chase, University of Central Florida, USA
Diane Chase, University of Central Florida, USA
Michael  Smith, University of Central Florida, USA