By Thomas C. Patterson
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Extra info for America's Past: A New World Archaeology
2,000-1,400 Years Ago Classic Maya civilization is marked by the growth of settlements and centers in the Late Preclassic and the Early Classic, with increased social complexity. Settlements expanded to all well-drained areas, especially the prime upland agricultural areas that compose 25 to 49 percent of the region (Bullard 1960; Fedick and Ford 1990; Ford 1985, 1990, 1991a, 1992, 1996; 2003; Fry 1969; Graham 2003; Puleston 1974; Rice 1976), and reflect the intensification of land use (Ford and Nigh 2009; Johnston 2003; Robin 2012).
B. K. Piper aduncum L. Sapium lateriflorum Hemsl. Simira salvadorensis Standl. Sterculia apetala Jacq. Swietenia macrophylla King Unidentified jor Ka abe chujum jo’ber makarum u’cunte chak’ax anis puna pok te Source: Diemont 2006 64 The Maya Forest Garden As a multi-crop cultivation system, the milpa forest garden cycles over decades. With the opening of the field as the initial phase, every plot cycle starts with selective harvesting, coppicing, pollarding, and cutting of the forest, followed by a careful hot burn (Everton 2012:75; Terán and Rasmussen 2009:201-231.
Among other things, these systems can result in significant storage of carbon in soils. Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide can be lowered either by reducing emissions or by taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and storing in terrestrial, oceanic, or freshwater aquatic ecosystems. A sink is defined as a process or an activity that removes greenhouse gas from the atmosphere. The long-term conversion of grassland and forestland to cropland (and grazing lands) has resulted in historic losses of soil carbon worldwide but there is a major potential for increasing soil carbon through restoration of degraded soils and widespread adoption of soil conservation practices.
America's Past: A New World Archaeology by Thomas C. Patterson