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  1. La producción y el consumo de cerámica con vidrio volcánico alcanzó su punto máximo en las Tierras Bajas Mayas durante elos periodos Clásico Tardío al Terminal. Explicaciones por estas cerámicas varían. Diferencias en el tipo de inclusiones volcánicas y forma indican que la cerámica fue producida en lugares múltiples por grupos diferentes de alfareros. Analizamos cerámica de contextos domésticos en Baking Pot, Belice, utilizando la petrográfia y el análisis por activación de neutrónica (NAA) para documentar la variabilidad y determinar la procedencia. La cerámica se produjo con vidrio volcánica fresca y una arcilla micrítica. Los datos petrográficos y químicos indican la cerámica se produjo localmente en el Valle de Belice. Es probable que la variación se debe tanto a las diferencias de producción como a la alteración post-deposicional. Es fundamental utilizar ambas técnicas analíticas para comprender la producción y la procedencia de las cerámicas en las Tierras Bajas Mayas.
  2. Abstract

    Archaeologists increasingly use large radiocarbon databases to model prehistoric human demography (also termed paleo-demography). Numerous independent projects, funded over the past decade, have assembled such databases from multiple regions of the world. These data provide unprecedented potential for comparative research on human population ecology and the evolution of social-ecological systems across the Earth. However, these databases have been developed using different sample selection criteria, which has resulted in interoperability issues for global-scale, comparative paleo-demographic research and integration with paleoclimate and paleoenvironmental data. We present a synthetic, global-scale archaeological radiocarbon database composed of 180,070 radiocarbon dates that have been cleaned according to a standardized sample selection criteria. This database increases the reusability of archaeological radiocarbon data and streamlines quality control assessments for various types of paleo-demographic research. As part of an assessment of data quality, we conduct two analyses of sampling bias in the global database at multiple scales. This database is ideal for paleo-demographic research focused on dates-as-data, bayesian modeling, or summed probability distribution methodologies.

  3. Abstract

    The influence of climate change on civil conflict and societal instability in the premodern world is a subject of much debate, in part because of the limited temporal or disciplinary scope of case studies. We present a transdisciplinary case study that combines archeological, historical, and paleoclimate datasets to explore the dynamic, shifting relationships among climate change, civil conflict, and political collapse at Mayapan, the largest Postclassic Maya capital of the Yucatán Peninsula in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries CE. Multiple data sources indicate that civil conflict increased significantly and generalized linear modeling correlates strife in the city with drought conditions between 1400 and 1450 cal. CE. We argue that prolonged drought escalated rival factional tensions, but subsequent adaptations reveal regional-scale resiliency, ensuring that Maya political and economic structures endured until European contact in the early sixteenth century CE.

  4. Since its inception in 1988, the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance (BVAR) Project has had two major foci, that of cultural heritage management and archaeological research. While research has concentrated on excavation and survey, the heritage management focus of the project has included the preservation of ancient monuments, the integration of archaeology and tourism development, and cultural heritage education. In this paper, we provide a brief overview on the history of scientific investigations by the BVAR Project, highlighting the project’s dual heritage management and research goals. This background offers the basis in which to discuss the successes and challenges of the project’s efforts in cultural heritage management and public engagement, particularly in early conservation efforts, in its training and educational efforts, and its ongoing outreach activity. We emphasize the need to train Belizeans as professional archaeologists and conservators, to serve as the next generation of advocates for Belize’s heritage management. We offer some ideas on how research projects can make significant contributions to heritage education and preservation in the developing world.