Human-environment interaction in pre-Hispanic Lake Cocibolca, Nicaragua: a historical ecology approach

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Student Research Reports, Summer 2018

Lucy Gill extracting a sediment core from Lake Cocibolca, just offshore of Zapatera Island, with Mombacho Volcano in the background. (Photo by Kaz van Dijk.)
Lucy Gill extracting a sediment core from Lake Cocibolca, just offshore of Zapatera Island, with Mombacho Volcano in the background. (Photo by Kaz van Dijk.)

Human-environment interaction in pre-Hispanic Lake Cocibolca, Nicaragua: a historical ecology approach
By Lucy Gill

This project takes an archaeological approach to exploring human-environment interaction in the socially complex, ecologically variable landscape of pre-Hispanic Nicaragua. It investigates networks of interaction centered around Lake Cocibolca, the largest source of fresh water in Central America, which continues to be an important locale for resource extraction and exchange. Archaeological work to date suggests that while there are clear differences in material culture and social practices between communities on either side of the lake, there was significant cross-lake exchange, and there were apparent similarities in social organization. This provides an unusual opportunity to explore the intersection of social and environmental variability.

Local collaborator Rene coming across a partially buried stone statue at the site of Sorizapote on Zapatera Island. (Photo by Lucy Gill.)
Local collaborator Rene coming across a partially buried stone statue at the site of Sorizapote on Zapatera Island. (Photo by Lucy Gill.)

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