Graduation Date

Fall 2017

Document Type



Master of Arts degree with a major in Applied Anthropology

Committee Chair Name

Marisol Cores-Rincon

Committee Chair Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Second Committee Member Name

Justine Shaw

Second Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Third Committee Member Name

David Baston

Third Committee Member Affiliation

HSU Faculty or Staff

Subject Categories



It has been well documented that the Classic Maya (250 CE to 900 CE) utilized a variety of agricultural techniques to stimulate their subsistence economy. As a result of the variable topography of the region and soil erosion caused by deforestation, the Classic Maya’s primary method of agricultural expansion consisted of landscape modifications through soil distribution (Turner and Harrison 1983; Beach et al.2006). The terracing of hill slopes is one such modification that would have allowed the ability to maximize agricultural production and limit soil erosion through the creation of farming platforms on hillside slopes. Past research near the ceremonial center of Dos Hombres in Northwestern Belize has pointed to similarities in the design of terrace support structures and suggest ranges of influence within the region (Beach et al. 2006). The research presented here is designed to expand on those tests between household groups at varied spatial and economic ranges to Dos Hombres by analyzing patterns within the design of terrace walls. Additionally, maintaining soil quality and quantity would have required an extensive labor commitment in order to preserve the viability of the land. By analyzing the effects of land use and management in addition to ranges of influence, this research expects to draw distinctions between household groups while indicating correlations between economy and commitment. The manner in which this will be done includes: (1) excavation to identify patterns in design and chronology, and; (2) soil analysis to measure the soils mineral content and use. By measuring ranges of human influence on the environment this research seeks to inform conversations involving site planning and corridors of power.

Citation Style



Thesis/Project Location