Jump to Main Content
A 5000-year record of agriculture and tropical forest clearance in the Tuxtlas, Veracruz, Mexico
- Goman, Michelle, Byrne, Roger
- TheHolocene 1998 v.8 no.1 pp. 83-89
- charcoal, climatic factors, corn, intensive farming, lakes, pollen, sediments, tropical forests, Mexico
- We present pollen and microscopic charcoal evidence from securely dated lake sediments, located in the Tuxtlas region of Veracruz, Mexico. Two periods of agricultural activity are recognized. The earliest phase reflects a low level of forest clearance and agriculture. The data provides a minimum date of 4830 cal. BP for the introduction of maize agriculture to the region. The second phase indicates intensive and prolonged human activity within the tropical forest. Commencing approximately 2600 years ago and ending a thousand years later, this episode reflects Pre-Classic to Middle Classic agricultural intensification. Coincident with this phase, we find evidence for drier climatic conditions. Subsequent to each episode of disturbance the forest regenerated within approximately 300 years.