Changes in the orientation of archaeological research in the post-World War n period affected Maya studies. The cultural ecological perspective, which was rising to prominence, put an old debate in bold relief: How had this prehistoric civilization adapted to the tropical forest environment? How could swidden cultivation have sustained the unexpectedly high population densities that settlement pattern studies appeared to be revealing? Had the ancient Maya practiced some from of intensive agriculture? Archaeologist Dennis E. Puleston went to the Maya Lowlands to investigate geographer Alfred H. Siemens's reports of possible intensive agriculture ("ridged fields") seen from the air and to study prehistoric Maya cultivation and civilization from a cultural ecological perspective. This volume presents the results of the Rio Hondo Project field research on Albion Island in northern Belize from 1973 to 1980 with the addition of selected results from Pohl's continuing work in northern Belize.
The Rio Hondo Project in Northern Belize, Rio Hondo Reflections: Notes on Puleston's Place and the Archaeology of Maya Landscapes, Soils of Albion Island, A Modern Vegetation Transect of a Prehistoric Maya Wetland Field and Canal Complex, Rio Hondo Botanical Catalogue, 11 San Antonio: A Late Holocene Record of Agricultural Activity in the Maya Lowlands, Sedimentation and Maya Agriculture, The Albion Island Transect Survey: The Ceramics of Albion Island, Summary and Proposals for Future Research