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Perspectives on the Ancient Maya of Chetumal Bay$
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Debra S. Walker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813062792

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813062792.001.0001

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Visualizing Maya Agriculture along the Rio Hondo

Visualizing Maya Agriculture along the Rio Hondo

A Remote Sensing Approach

Chapter:
(p.92) 5 Visualizing Maya Agriculture along the Rio Hondo
Source:
Perspectives on the Ancient Maya of Chetumal Bay
Author(s):

Thomas Guderjan

Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach

Timothy Beach

Samantha Krause

Clifford Brown

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813062792.003.0005

Chapter 5 draws on a broad range of evidence to develop a view of what the agricultural landscape of the Rio Hondo basin, now on the Belize-Mexican border, must have looked like in the heavily populated Classic era landscape. The authors use Contact period Spanish accounts to describe trade in agricultural products–especially cacao, but also achiote and vanilla–that were particularly prized from this region. Ten years of research on the drained field agricultural systems, such as the Chan Cahal fields near Blue Creek, identified the timespan for commercial level production, and computer assisted analysis of aerial and satellite photographs are beginning to document the massive scale of this enterprise.

Keywords:   drained field agriculture, commercial agriculture, cacao production, Rio Hondo, Blue Creek, Chan Cahal fields, agricultural landscape

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