Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Tribute From the Underworld: The Historical Ecology of the Maya Postclassic Fish Trade With Isotopic Analysis of Otoliths From Mayapán and Caye Coco
by Bryant, Jeffrey M., Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2019, 284; 13864761
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation investigates the Maya fish trade through the extensive analysis of fish otoliths (ear stones), from the Postclassic sites of Mayapán, and Caye Coco, and provides an initial foundation for the development of a historical ecology program. Through osteometry, thin-section microscopy of growth rings, and microscale stable isotope analysis (δC13 and δO18), a spectrum of data is produced to characterize the Postclassic fish trade. These data are used to illuminate themes of the seasonality of the fish harvest, diet, biodiversity, fish population demography, environmental change, sustainability, and resilience. The timing of a seasonal intensification of the harvest is viewed in the context of ethnohistoric records of fishermen’s rituals and large-scale ceremonial fish harvest. Social and cognitive aspects of fishing in the Maya realm are explored, and the results for Mayapán and Caye Coco are compared and interpreted. Environmental and climate change are explored through zooarchaeological and isotopic analysis and comparison with modern fish populations.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rosenswig, Robert M.
Commitee: Masson, Marilyn A., Rafferty, Sean M.
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 80/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Ecology, Environmental science
Keywords: Fish otoliths, Marine historical ecology, Maya, Mesoamerica, Seasonality, Stable isotopes
Publication Number: 13864761
ISBN: 978-1-392-13738-3
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