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By Kyran Johnson, Environmental Studies
Award: Excellence in Research Communication
Presentation ID: 264
Abstract: The distinction between mankind and the natural world was not common for the majority of human existence. Maya cultural practices are deeply intertwined with their surroundings blurring the line between man and nature. In the Late Classic Period (600-900 CE), the Mayan city of Aventura (located in Northern Belize) was flourishing due to its reliable access and control of water sources, whereas other Mayan cities were suffering collapse. During the 2017-2019 field seasons, charcoal samples were collected from various cultural contexts. These samples were sorted, analyzed, and identified based on the unique natural fingerprint of each species. Several of the species revealed are documented as playing a vital role in the daily life of Mayan people, past and present.