January 24: Lecture by Joel Palka

Ecological Aquaculture and Domesticated Waterscapes in Ancestral Maya Society, Subsistence, and Art in Chiapas, Mexico: Comparative Perspectives

Dr. Palka’s ongoing archaeological and anthropological project at Lake Mensabak in Chiapas explores past to present Maya use of modified waterscapes for fishing and managing plant communities. At this and other sites in the region, Maya people collectively dug canals and made reservoirs for large-scale, integrated ecological aquaculture. Like domesticated landscapes for agriculture, people in the Mesoamerican culture area engineered water works for harvesting fish, turtles, waterfowl, and aquatic plants for sustainable household consumption. This presentation covers insights from archaeology, Maya collaborations, art, and ethnohistory indicating that fisheries can be added to research on raised fields, water control, subsistence ecology, and community organization in Mesoamerica and other parts of the world. Comparisons will be made with Mexica-Aztec raised fields (chinampas), Chimú-Andean irrigation ditches, artificial Roman pools (piscinae), Medieval English fish ponds, Angkor reservoirs, and Assyrian canals.

(AIA National Brush Lecture)

January 24 at 6:00 pm
Webinar Registration Required (click here)

▶︎ Watch a recording of this lecture on Youtube