Unsung stewards of the earth: UCSB Archeologist Anabel Ford Rewrites the Book on Maya Farming Practices

Santa Barbara Independent

The view of the Maya as ecologically self-destructive is entrenched. Most recently, the geographer Jared Diamond used it in Collapse, his bestselling book about the various ways societies bring about their own disintegration. But Ford, who has spent the last 20 years studying the Maya, remains unconvinced. The bedrock of her skepticism—and her article—is a simple fact, but one she believes holds profound implications. It is, namely, that 90 percent of the modern Maya forest is human-influenced, or anthropogenic.