Posted by: Johan Normark | June 11, 2013


Earlier today I received an email that informed me that my paper for this year’s European Maya Conference in Brussels has been confirmed. Here is the abstract:

The Spanish Colonial period’s relevance for the mega-drought hypothesis for the Maya collapse

Palaeoclimatological models for the Maya area suggest that a series of droughts coincided with the Maya collapse (ca AD 750-1100). In order to find correlates to how droughts affected Prehispanic communities, researchers have used direct historical analogies from the Colonial and modern periods. These correlations neglect the changes that the Spaniards brought to the area, such as the reducción and the congregación. This text focuses on how “black-boxed” analogies from the Colonial period affect contemporary interpretations of the earlier Terminal Classic collapse. Colonial period changes in local and regional settlement patterns reveal some inherent assumptions in the generalized and reductionist palaeoclimatic studies. Of special interest here is the Cochuah region east of Lake Chichancanab as it provides settlement data from both within and outside the extent of the Spanish empire. The main difference between Prehispanic and Colonial period settlement strategies in this area concerns a change from meteorological concerns towards hydrogeological concerns. 

Last week I was invited to a session at this year’s Theoretical Archaeology Group’s (TAG) conference in Bournemouth. The session is entitled “Towards an Archaeology of Becoming”. The focus will therefore be how to use the ontologies developed by Deleuze and DeLanda in archaeology. I have not written an abstract yet but I will post it here. I will most likely include some OOO and Meillassoux as well.


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