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The Deposition and Chronology of Cenote T’isil: A Multiproxy Study of Human/Environment Interaction in the Northern Maya Lowlands of Southeast Mexico


  • Scientific editing by Gary Huckleberry

*Corresponding author;



Cenotes (natural wells or sinkholes) comprise the most common landscape features in the northern Maya Lowlands of the Yucatán Peninsula, México. Detailed study of dated soil-sedimentary sequences, recovered from a cenote at the archaeological site T’isil and nearby wetlands, allows a partial reconstruction of environmental variability at the site for the last 2000 years. Biogenic calcite sedimentation and Calcisol development occur during three intervals of increased inundation in cenote and wetland environments, ca. A.D. 300, A.D. 1000, and A.D. 1300. Periods of increased inundation in the cenote and wetlands correlate with wetter climatic intervals, and periods of Maya occupation at sites in the Yalahau region. Evidence for Maya modification of the cenote environment may relate to regional wetland agricultural practices.

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