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HYBRID - Drought-Induced Conflict Among the Ancient Maya

March 3, 2024 @ 2:00 pm PST

1201 9th St.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 United States

AIA Society: Los Angeles County

Lecturer: Douglas Kennett

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. Kennett will 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 Yucat√°n 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.

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March 3, 2024
2:00 pm PST
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1201 9th St.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 United States + Google Map
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