Edited by Cynthia Robin

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780813039831
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813043753 | DOI:

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This book examines the 2000-year history (ca. 800 B.C. - A.D. 1200) of the ancient Maya farming community of Chan in Belize. The farming community of Chan flourished for two millennia while the fortunes of nearby Maya civic centers waxed and waned. Given that 2000 years is a long time, this book examines what Chan's residents did to facilitate the longevity of their community. The contributors to this volume develop three themes, which relate to the socially and environmentally sustainable practices of Chan's farmers. First, sustainable agriculture maintained the surrounding forest, allowing the community to thrive for two millennia. Second, there was more equitable distribution of wealth items at Chan than at nearby larger Maya civic centers. Third, the group-focused political strategies employed by local leaders at Chan differed from the highly hierarchical strategies of the Classic Maya kings in their large cities. Additionally, the contributors trace the origins of elite Maya state religion to the complex religious belief systems that developed at Chan and other small farming communities like it. This book is the first academic publication to address a decade of research into the archaeology of a Maya farming community by an international, multidisciplinary research team.

Keywords: archaeology; Maya, Chan; farming community; agriculture; sustainable agriculture; community

Book.  416 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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