Radar Mapping, Archeology, and Ancient Maya Land Use

  title={Radar Mapping, Archeology, and Ancient Maya Land Use},
  author={Richard E. W. Adams and Walter E. Brown and T. Patrick Culbert},
  pages={1457 - 1468}
A severe incongruity has long existed between the well-known complexity of ancient Maya civilization and the relatively feeble economic base that could be reconstructed for it. Recent fieldwork has ihdicated that much more intensive cultivation patterns were used than was previously thought. Data from the use of synthetic aperture radar in aerial surveys of the southern Maya lowlands suggest that large areas were drained by ancient canals that may have been used for intensive cultivation… 
Ancient lowland Maya complexity as revealed by airborne laser scanning of northern Guatemala
The findings indicate that this Lowland Maya society was a regionally interconnected network of densely populated and defended cities, which were sustained by an array of agricultural practices that optimized land productivity and the interactions between rural and urban communities.
SAR for Landscape Archaeology
This chapter provides an overview of the opportunities that image analysts, archaeologists, and conservation scientists currently have by using space-borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery for
Detection of Maya's archaeological sites using high resolution radar images
The Yucatan peninsula, in the Mexican republic, harbours many archaeological sites of the Maya civilization. Many of these sites are covered by dense vegetation in areas of difficult access and high
Deciphering Circular Anthropogenic Anomalies in PALSAR Data - Using L-Band SAR for Analyzing Archaeological Features on the Steppe
It is found that circular anthropogenic anomalies in a steppe environment in PALSAR-2 data appeared as a homogeneous group of signatures showing the non-intuitive complexity of SAR data interpretation, likely the reason for the limited application SAR has seen within the archaeological community.
Recentering the rural: Lidar and articulated landscapes among the Maya
Commentary: Rebuttal to Pope and Dahlin
AbstractExamination of the synthetic aperture radar imagery and of the hydraulic characteristics of Maya lowland swamps has led Kevin O. Pope and Bruce H. Dahlin (“AncientMaya Wetland Agriculture:
Calakmul: New Data from an Ancient Maya Capital in Campeche, Mexico
In this paper we summarize more than a decade of interdisciplinary work at Calakmul, including (1) the mapping project, which has covered more than 30 km2; (2) the excavation project, which has
Soil Erosion, Slope Management, and Ancient Terracing in the Maya Lowlands
A puzzling aspect of Prehispanic soil erosion and sedimentation in the Maya Lowlands is the variation noted between different regions. In the Petexbatún region of Guatemala, recent investigations
Finding Fields: Locating Archaeological Agricultural Landscapes Using Historical Aerial Photographs
During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, over 450 precolumbian and historic Indigenous agricultural fields were documented across the state of Wisconsin. Today, the vast majority of


Swamps, canals, and the locations of ancient Maya cities
  • R. Adams
  • Environmental Science
  • 1980
The recent radar mapping discovery of widely distributed patterns of intensive agriculture in the southern Maya lowlands provides new perspectives on classic Maya civilization. Swamps seem to have
Prehistoric raised-field agriculture in the maya lowlands.
The ground pattems found in Pulitrouser Swamp, northern Belize, are vestiges of raised and channelized fields, types of wetland cultivation used by the ancient Maya, which indicates that the large number of well-defined ground patterns reported in other areas in the central Maya lowlands are probably traces of Maya wetlands cultivation.
Ridged Fields and Associated Features in Southern Campeche: New Perspectives on the Lowland Maya
Abstract Prehistoric ridged fields and canals were recognized from the air in 1968 along the Candelaria River of Campeche, Mexico, in the vicinity of sites described by E. Willys Andrews in 1943.
Tikal, Guatemala and Mesoamerican urbanism
Abstract A common assumption is that in Precolumbian times, an urban form of civilization developed in the highlands of Mesoamerica, while a non‐urban form developed in the tropical lowlands.
Gardens on swamps.
The extent of the raised plots in the Xochimilco-Chalco Basin was much greater in the Aztec period than had been recognized, and archeological evidence has been obtained to substantiate the descriptions left by 1 6th-century chroniclers.
Estudio Ecologico de la Region de Balancan-Tenosique
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    • 1974
    • Anthropol.
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