Holocene vegetation change in the northern Peten and its implications for Maya Prehistory

  title={Holocene vegetation change in the northern Peten and its implications for Maya Prehistory},
  author={David Wahl and Roger A. Byrne and Thomas Schreiner and Richard D. Hansen},
  journal={Quaternary Research},
  pages={380 - 389}
Abstract An ∼8400 cal yr record of vegetation change from the northern Peten, Guatemala, provides new insights into the environmental history of the archaeological area known as the Mirador Basin. Pollen, loss on ignition, and magnetic susceptibility analyses indicate warm and humid conditions in the early to mid-Holocene. Evidence for a decrease in forest cover around 4600 cal yr B.P. coincides with the first appearance of Zea mays pollen, suggesting that human activity was responsible. The… Expand
An 8700 year paleoclimate reconstruction from the southern Maya lowlands
Abstract Analysis of a sediment core from Lago Puerto Arturo, a closed basin lake in northern Peten, Guatemala, has provided an ∼8700 cal year record of climate change and human activity in theExpand
A 3400 year paleolimnological record of prehispanic human–environment interactions in the Holmul region of the southern Maya lowlands
Abstract 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 archeologicalExpand
Palaeolimnological evidence of late-Holocene settlement and abandonment in the Mirador Basin, Peten, Guatemala
Pollen, loss on ignition and magnetic susceptibility analyses provide a high-resolution palaeoenvironmental record from Lago Puerto Arturo, Peten, Guatemala. The presence of Zea pollen ~2650 BCExpand
Holocene climate variability and anthropogenic impacts from Lago Paixban, a perennial wetland in Peten, Guatemala
Abstract Analyses of an ~ 6 m sediment core from Lago Paixban in Peten, Guatemala, document the complex evolution of a perennial wetland over the last 10,300 years. The basal sediment is comprised ofExpand
Two Holocene paleofire records from Peten, Guatemala: Implications for natural fire regime and prehispanic Maya land use
Abstract Although fire was arguably the primary tool used by the Maya to alter the landscape and extract resources, little attention has been paid to biomass burning in paleoenvironmentalExpand
Climate drying and associated forest decline in the lowlands of northern Guatemala during the late Holocene
Abstract Palynological studies document forest disappearance during the late Holocene in the tropical Maya lowlands of northern Guatemala. The question remains as to whether this vegetation changeExpand
Protracted drought during the late Holocene in the Lacandon rain forest, Mexico
A 3.4 m core was obtained for paleoecological analysis from Naja Lake in the Lacandon region of southeastern Mexico. This is the first study of the Lacandon area aimed at reconstructing late HoloceneExpand
A late Holocene paleoenvironmental reconstruction from Agua Caliente, southern Belize, linked to regional climate variability and cultural change at the Maya polity of Uxbenká
Abstract We report high-resolution macroscopic charcoal, pollen and sedimentological data for Agua Caliente, a freshwater lagoon located in southern Belize, and infer a late Holocene record of humanExpand
A Paleoecological Record from a Late Classic Maya Reservoir in the North Petén
Abstract Aguada Zacatal is a reservoir located within a bajo 4 km west of Nakbe, Petén, Guatemala. It is 100 m in diameter and the surrounding berm is approximately 1 m tall. The small Classic periodExpand
Holocene paleoecology, climate history and human influence in the southwestern Yucatan Peninsula
Centennial resolution pollen analysis of a record from Lake Silvituc, Yucatan Peninsula, provides a 7900 cal yr BP record of vegetation history and climate change in the Maya lowlands. SeveralExpand


A Holocene vegetation history from lowland Guatemala
A 5.45-m core from Lake Peten-Itza, lowland Guatemala, contains a near-complete record of Holo cene sedimentation. The age-depth relationship for the core is based on AMS 14C dating of terrestrialExpand
A multi-proxy study of Holocene environmental change in the Maya Lowlands of Peten, Guatemala
We used multiple variables in a sediment core from Lake Peten-Itza, Peten, Guatemala, to infer Holocene climate change and human influence on the regional environment. Multiple proxies includingExpand
Palynology provides a record of past environmental change in the Maya Lowlands. The underlying principles are simple, but, as with all proxies, there are limitations. During the late glacial period,Expand
Man and climate in the Maya lowlands
Abstract A 15-m sedimentary core from Lake Salpeten provides the first complete Holocene sequence for the lowlying Peten District, Guatemala. Today, Lake Salpeten is a brackish, calcium sulfate lakeExpand
A 4000-Year Lacustrine Record of Environmental Change in the Southern Maya Lowlands, Petén, Guatemala
Abstract A 4000-yr sediment core record from Lake Salpetén, Guatemala, provides evidence for Maya-induced forest clearance and consequent soil erosion between ∼1700 cal yr B.C. and 850 cal yr A.D.Expand
Guatemalan forest synthesis after Pleistocene aridity.
  • B. Leyden
  • Geography, Medicine
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
  • 1984
The Peten has the most mesic vegetation yet shown to have supplanted xeric vegetation present during the Pleistocene, and the arid late Glacial-humid early Holocene transition appears to have been pantropical in the lowlands. Expand
Holocene stratigraphy of Cobweb Swamp, a Maya wetland in northern Belize
We investigated the soils and sediments of Cobweb Swamp, adjacent to the archaeological site of Colha in northern Belize, to adumbrate landscape evolution and the impact of the ancient Maya on aExpand
Cultural and Climatic History of Cobá, a Lowland Maya City in Quintana Roo, Mexico☆☆☆
Abstract Lake Coba, within the archaeological site of Coba, provides evidence bearing on lowland Maya development. Palynological and geochemical data record multidecadal precipitation cycles from aExpand
Possible role of climate in the collapse of Classic Maya civilization
THE Maya civilization developed around 3,000 years ago in Mesoamerica, and after flourishing during the so-called Classic period, it collapsed around 750–900 AD1. It has been specula ted2–6 thatExpand
Climate Variability on the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico) during the Past 3500 Years, and Implications for Maya Cultural Evolution
Climate variability on the Yucatan Peninsula during the past 3500 yrs is reconstructed from the measurement of δ18O in monospecific ostracods and gastropods in a 6.3-m sediment core from Lake PuntaExpand