Posted by: Johan Normark | October 4, 2014

Maya collapse and water as hyperfact

A brief update for those of you who still follows this blog. I have been busy writing articles and books (and still am I must add). Earlier this week I submitted an article for the proceedings of the 18th European Maya Conference in Brussels last year. Here is the prelimary abstract for the article “Colonial period analogies and 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 750-1050). In order to find correlates to how these 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 some 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.

Another artice will also be published in Current Swedish Archaeology, entitled “Water as a hyperfact” and this is the preliminary abstract:

Most entities studied by archaeologists share the same basic necessary conditions. They are limited spatiotemporal units which are continuous within a human frame of reference. These entities cannot dissolve into their constituent parts without affecting their function, capacity, and morphology. Further, they usually occupy one physical state at a time. The hyperfact, on the other hand, is vastly distributed, it can dissolve into most of its parts without affecting its “essence,” and it can be in several physical states at the same time. Water is a typical hyperfact, existing on multiple scales, from molecules to the hydrological cycle.


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