Landuse and soil degradation in the southern Maya lowlands, from Pre-Classic to Post-Classic times : The case of La Joyanca (Petén, Guatemala)

Abstract : This work focuses on the impact of Maya agriculture on soil degradation. In site and out site studies in the area of the city of La Joyanca (NW Petén) show that "Maya clays" do not constitute a homogeneous unit, but represent a complex sedimentary record. A high resolution analysis leads us to document changes in rates and practices evolving in time in relation with major socio-political and economic changes. It is possible to highlight extensive agricultural practices between Early Pre-classical to Late Pre-classical times. Intensification occurs in relation with reduction of the fallow duration during Pre-classic to Classic periods. The consequences of these changes on soil erosion are discussed. However, it does not seem that the agronomic potential of the soils was significantly degraded before the end of the Classic period.
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Jean-Michel Carozza, Didier Galop, Jean-Paul Métailié, Boris Vannière, Gilles Bossuet, et al.. Landuse and soil degradation in the southern Maya lowlands, from Pre-Classic to Post-Classic times : The case of La Joyanca (Petén, Guatemala). Geodinamica Acta, Taylor & Francis, 2007, 20 (4), pp.195-207. ⟨halshs-00965548⟩

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