Projects
Xcoch Archaeological-Paleoclimate Project

The Xcoch Archaeological-Paleoclimate Project (XAP) is a long-term archaeological research program studying the adaptation of the ancient Maya in the Puuc region of Yucatan, Mexico from their first appearance in the Preclassic until modern times. The Puuc was a major region of Maya culture during the pre-Columbian period. The project's current focus is on past climate change and human responses and supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society and the Waitt Institute for Discovery, Rollins College, and numerous private organizations and individuals, and with permits from Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH). The project directors are Dr. Michael P. Smyth (Foundation for Americas Research, Inc.) and Arq. David Ortegón Zapata (INAH). The archaeological site of Xcoch, which forms the central study area of XAP, is a major Maya center that flourished between 600 B.C. and A.D. 1000. Research concentrates on four main objectives:

1. Mapping at Xcoch is focused on the size and nature of the settlement, with surface collections as a means to diagnose the organizational characteristics of the human and natural landscapes as well as discern site activity areas.

2. Excavations within the Xcoch Acropolis, where major Preclassic architecture is located and within peripheral settlement areas believed to be Preclassic public and residential zones

3. Exploration, preservation, and protection of the Xcoch cave, one of only three known water-bearing caves in the Puuc region, a unique natural and cultural context that has been virtually untouched for centuries. Paleoclimate information is being collected from this and other cave settings in the Puuc region.

4. A regional program of survey and excavation focused on the areas immediately surrounding the site of Xcoch. A series of shallow ponds created /altered by the ancient Maya have been found associated with canal features suggesting ancient garden agriculture and water management related to past climate change.

For more information concerning donations to the Xcoch Archaeological-Paleoclimate Project, please click here.

 

Thank you for offering your support for The Xcoch Archaeological-Paleoclimate Project (XAP). The XAP is a research program of the Foundation for Americas Research, Inc. (FARINCO), which is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization with 501c3 status; any funds donated by U.S. citizens to FARINCO are tax-deductible.

An interactive map, created by National Geographic, with information concerning this project can be found here.

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Easte Elite Zone

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Zaquencipá Paleoclimate Human Ecodynamics Project

This proposed long-term research project will study climate change and human ecodynamics of the ancient Muisca people from their first appearance in the Herrera Phase (400 B.C.) until Colonial times (A.D. 1550) in the Leiva Valley of the Department of Boyocá, Colómbia. The Muisca were a major indigenous culture during the pre-Columbian period and at Spanish contact with one of largest populations in the New World. The project is working with a grant from the National Geographic Society and the Waitt Foundation and is seeking other financial support from the National Science Foundation, private organizations, and individuals. The project director is Dr. Michael P. Smyth (The Foundation for Americas Research, Inc.) working cooperatively with the Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia and the Instituto Colombiano de Antropología e Historia (ICANH). The Valley of Leiva contains numerous archaeological sites including El Infiernitos near the Colonial town of Villa de Leyva founded in the 16th century. Research is focused on four main objectives:

1. Utilize existing data from past regional and site archaeological surveys in the Leiva Valley that focus on the location, size, and diversity of the settlements where surface collection and shovel testing data have been employed to date sites and discern the nature of human and environmental relationships.

2. Excavation within select archaeological sites, especially the environs near El Infiernito, to locate and reconstruct systems of hydraulic agriculture that were vital to farming and subsistence in this semi-arid tropical highland region.

3. Document diverse environmental zones and associated natural resources available to ancient peoples including factors related to past climate change. In this regard, cave and lacrustine settings will be sampled to collect paleoenvironmental proxy data. In addition, the glaciers of the Sierra Nevada de "El Cocuy" will be investigated to reconstruct a record of mid-late Holocene climate change related to rainfall and melt water from glaciers and consequent impact upon adjacent upland valleys populated with irrigation chiefdoms.

4. Development of local cultural-ecological tourism sensitive to the protection of archaeological resources and the natural environment.

For more information concerning donations to the Zaquencipá Paleoclimate Human Ecodynamics Project, please click here.

Thank you for offering your support for the Zaquenzipa Archaeological-Paleoclimate Project. This is a research program of the Foundation for Americas Research, Inc. (FARINCO), which is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization with 501c3 status; any funds donated by U.S. citizens to FARINCO are tax-deductible.

Crew

Easte Elite Zone

Easte Elite Zone