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The UCL Institute of Archaeology is delighted to host the 41st annual Theoretical Archaeology Group Conference in December 2019. Founded in 1937, the Institute is one of the largest centres for world archaeology, archaeological sciences and heritage & museum studies in the UK, situated in the heart of the capital.

Venue: UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL
Wednesday, December 18 • 2:00pm - 5:30pm
TAG30 | Tropicalís(i)mo: exploring comparative archaeologies between Amazonia and the Maya lowlands

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The broad lowland Neotropical macro region has potentially much to offer to current thinking about the emergence of social power; demographic growth, resilience and adaptation in the face of different and/or changing environmental conditions; and links between different socio-historical trajectories, landscape transformation/degradation, and climate change. However, archaeological studies focused on different lowland regions of the Neotropics are fragmented along either national or cultural lines. They reflect different research traditions (e.g. Mayanists, Amazonianists) and are - generally speaking - strongly imprinted by a consideration of the reciprocal effects of human communities and environmental change. Despite the growing importance of a comparative perspective in archaeology, it remains to be seen whether tropical regions between Amazonia and the Maya lowlands can be meaningfully compared. In this session we seek to establish a forum to develop a comparative perspective focused on the archaeology of the Neotropical lowlands. We invite contributions on general questions such as:

• Do the ‘tropics’ constitute a valid framework for archaeological comparison?
• What are the commonalities that exist in approaches, methods and techniques?
• Are the main research questions from both regions comparable?
• What is the impact of different national and international archaeological traditions?
• How are archaeological reconstructions reflective of ethnographic or ethnohistorical assumptions?
• What is the relevance of current research for local communities across these regions?

We welcome and encourage contributions with a comparative and interdisciplinary angle within the lowland Neotropics.

Organisers: Manuel Arroyo Kalin; UCL • Eva Jobbova; UCD

14:00 | Eva Jobbova, UCD; Manuel Arroyo Kalin , UCL | Introduction to sessions

14:10 | Julie A. Hoggarth, Baylor University, Texas | Climate and Cultural Developments in the Maya Lowlands and Greater Amazonia

14:30 | Mark Robinson, University of Exeter | Methods and relevance for comparative archaeologies of tropical Central and South America

14:50 | Andrew R. Wyatt, Middle Tennessee State University; Helena Pinto-Lima, Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi; Laura Furquim, Universidade de São Paulo | Household Archaeology in Amazonia: The Applicability of Archaeobotanical Research from the Maya Lowlands

15:10 | - | BREAK

15:40 | Jaroslav Źrałka, Jagiellonian University, Cracow; Monika Banach, Jagiellonian University | ‘Among the ruins and mudholes’: Relevance of archaeological research for the indigenous people in the Maya area

16:00 | Panayotis Kratimenos, UCL | Varying theoretical paradigms across national/regional lines in the Maya world

16:20 | J Julian Garay, UCL Institute of Archaeology | “¿Los Taínos sabían usar muchas plantas?”: The current state of Archaeobotanical research in the pre-Columbian Caribbean.

16:40 | Jose R. Oliver, UCL | Plural ‘societies’ in Ancient Orinoco: MG Smith Revisited

17:00 | Eva Jobbova, UCD; Manuel Arroyo Kalin, UCL | Discussion

17:30 | - | END


Julie A. Hoggarth

Baylor University, Texas

Mark Robinson

University of Exeter

Andrew R. Wyatt

Middle Tennessee State University

Helena Pinto-Lima

Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi

Laura Furquim

Universidade de São Paulo

Jaroslav Źrałka

Jagiellonian University, Cracow

Monika Banach

Jagiellonian University

J Julian Garay

UCL Institute of Archaeology

Wednesday December 18, 2019 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Clarke Hall (Level 3) 20 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury, London WC1H 0AL

Attendees (1)