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Unlocking the secrets of the ancient coastal Maya

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ancient coastal Maya

ATLANTA—Georgia State University anthropologist Dr. Jeffrey Glover grew up in metro Atlanta, but speaking to him, it sounds like his heart is in Quintana Roo. This part of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula has been the home base for an expansive research project spanning more than 10 years. His research there with Dr. Dominique Rissolo, a maritime archaeologist at

UC San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute, has uncovered thousands of artifacts that help them shed new light on the ancient Maya people who lived along this stretch of coast.

Glover and Rissolo are working with an interdisciplinary and international team of researchers to uncover new insights about the dynamic interplay between social and natural processes that shaped life for these ancient, Maya people over the last 3,000 years. The team has just released a new article in the Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology summarizing their findings to date.

“The Proyecto Costa Escondida,” which translates into English as the ‘hidden coast’ project, has focused on the ancient Maya port sites of Vista Alegre and Conil.

“We chose the project name because, the coast is literally hidden behind mangroves. We’ve canoed the coastline and you’ve really got to snake back to get to the site,” Glover said. “But at the same time, and more importantly, this region has been hidden from scholarship—there just hadn’t been a lot of work done there until we arrived.”

To date, the work has produced a wealth of knowledge about maritime Maya civilization since 800 BCE (Before Common Era). Glover, an associate professor of Anthropology, is using an historical ecology framework to better understand the dynamic relationship between humans and the environment at the ancient Maya port sites of Vista Alegre and Conil.

“This is about how people respond to change,” said Dr. John Yellen, program director for archeology at the U.S. National Science Foundation, which helped fund the research. “Through the lens of historical ecology, this broad team of researchers has shown how Maya adapted over centuries to a wide range of environmental changes. This insight into one society’s long-term adaptation to coastal environments provides a fruitful model for studying such interactions across many cultures.”

This region lies along Yucatan’s north coast, some hours from popular tourist attractions like Cancun and well-known archaeological sites like Chichen Itza and Tulum.

“What’s remarkable about our study area is that it represents one of the least developed coastlines on the northern Yucatan Peninsula,” said Rissolo, who was recently featured in a video series about the Maritime Maya. “When trying to understand the ancient maritime cultural landscape of the so-called ‘Riviera Maya,’ for example, your perspective is obscured by all-inclusive resorts, golf courses and theme parks. The shores of the Laguna Holbox, on the other hand, are still largely wild and offer a more unobstructed view into the region’s past.”

The site of Vista Alegre is a small island surrounded by mangroves that lies along the southern shore of the Holbox Lagoon (also called Conil or Yalahau Lagoon). Glover describes Vista Alegre as what was probably once a small, bustling port. Here, they’ve discovered and recorded as many as 40 rock-filled platforms that served as the foundation for perishable pole and thatch buildings. The largest is a pyramidal structure that stands about 13 meters—or nearly 43 feet—tall. Glover believes this probably served as a temple and a lookout where the site’s inhabitants could see if anyone was approaching by sea. Conil, on the other hand, is a much more expansive site located beneath the modern town of Chiquila and was encountered by early Spanish conquistadors who described it as a town of 5,000 houses.

Researchers have identified tens of thousands of artifacts and ecofacts (animal and plant remains that speak to past diets), which have helped improve our understanding of how the landscape has changed over time, how the people lived, and how they dealt with challenges not unlike those faced by people today, such as: rising sea levels and changing political and economic systems. “We are coordinating and synthesizing all the different datasets that we have, which gives us a wider-angle picture,” Glover said.

The project, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), combines traditional archaeological techniques (think digging with a small hand trowel or shovel) with new, high-tech practices for land and sea. Glover says it is a matter of making the most out of the materials at hand.

“Archaeology requires a broad knowledge of the latest scientific techniques mixed with a strong reliance on ‘MacGyvering,’ Glover said. “We often utilize rustic equipment combined with high-tech tools. On any given day, we might find ourselves in a small dinghy borrowed from the local community out of which we are running marine geophysical survey equipment or pounding PVC tubes into the sediments with a homemade fencepost driver.”

The complex work of marine geoarchaeology was spearheaded by Dr. Beverly Goodman-Tchernov and Dr. Roy Jaijel of the University of Haifa in Israel. The core samples include sediment from the coastline and give researchers a better idea of how the coastline has changed over time by looking at a host of different datasets. In particular, the remains of tiny creatures (foraminifera) are preserved in the cores. These creatures lived in very specific environments, so by finding certain species of foraminifera, the team can reconstruct what the coastal environment was like. Instead of being hidden as it is today, Vista Alegre was most likely once more open and purposely built on a peninsula that jutted into the lagoon making it a more obvious destination for ancient canoe-based traders.

Along with paleo-coastline reconstruction, Dr. Patricia Beddows of Northwestern University has been combing research on the modern hydrological system with oxygen isotope values from the core sediments to study how access to freshwater changed over time as a result of rising sea-levels. The team has to bring all of their drinking water with them to the site, so they are keenly aware what a limiting factor freshwater access could have been for past peoples. One idea is that there were springs near the site in the past that have been effectively drowned by rising sea level. To try to identify freshwater seeps (that are about two degrees Celsius cooler than the ocean water) the team is using a drone equipped with a thermal camera to identify areas that might represent past sources of freshwater.

The team also uncovered tens of thousands of pieces of pottery and hundreds of pieces of obsidian (volcanic glass used to make tools that can be traced to its original geologic location), which reveal these coastal peoples were involved in extensive trade. Glover says the diversity of these artifacts stands out when compared to that of nearby, inland sites. The research team believes the archaeological data reinforce the idea that these coastal peoples had much broader and more cosmopolitan connections because they were part of long-distance, canoe-based trade networks.

These trade connections are most evident about 1,000 years ago when researchers see a major realignment and expansion in international trade associated with the emergence of Chichen Itza as a powerful religious, political, and economic city.

“Strong evidence of this realignment comes from the obsidian data which reveals greater connections to parts of central Mexico, near modern day Mexico City” Glover said.

Many of these artifacts come from poring over the detritus—or garbage—left behind by this past civilization, Glover says this is often an archeologist’s goldmine. Mixed with the pottery and obsidian, the research team found items like spindle whorls, that would have been used to make cotton thread which could have been traded as bolts of cloth or used for fishing lines or nets.

When asked what is missing, Rissolo said “We would love to find an intact ancient Maya trading canoe! It’s possible that such a vessel may be preserved beneath the muddy bottom of the bays surrounding Vista Alegre. We would learn so much about these legendary watercraft.”

The team also discovered an array of natural materials, including more than 20,000 animal bones, from sharks, rays, turtles and marine gastropods (gastropods include animals like conchs and whelks which have been studied by another project leader, Dr. Derek Smith). The team is working closely with Mexican archeologists at the Autonomous University of Yucatan in Merida, Mexico to analyze the animal remains and burial sites that have been discovered.

Research came to a halt during much of the pandemic, but after months of excavations and discovery of so many artifacts, the team is still working to analyze their findings. Glover said they are also in discussions with local leaders in Mexico to create a community museum to highlight the region’s rich cultural and natural history.

Often, when people think about the ancient Maya, they may picture some sudden, cataclysmic event that upended daily life and led to end of this past, advanced civilization. Glover notes that this could not be further from the truth. Maya peoples are alive and well today in the Yucatan, Belize, and Guatemala. While the ‘collapse’ of Maya kingdoms between 800 and 900 CE often gets blown out of proportion in popular media, that does not mean that were not changes in settlements over time.

“I think it’s a story, not of a sudden or mass exodus, but a shift over time,” Glover explained, “and to understand these shifts we must understand the complex interplay of environmental and cultural factors, which is what our research is revealing.”

The research also highlights the specific lifestyles and adaptive strategies needed to live in a dynamic coastal environment and how this fostered a shared identity amongst coastal Maya communities.

“Our research gives us some idea of the shared challenges that coastal peoples faced – rising sea-levels, diminished freshwater, changing economic and political systems – and they probably leaned on one another, Glover said. “In some ways, I think it might have been easier to hop in your canoe and paddle down the coast to seek help than it was to walk over land.”

“The past, just like the present is not static, and these people were constantly having to make decisions. Sometimes those decisions meant sticking it out, and sometimes they meant re-establishing their lives right down the coast. This new article is a great summation of what we have learned to date. But, you know, there’s always more to be done, and we certainly have plans to continue.” Glover said.

Later this year, the team will start a new project with Dr. Tim Murtha, a colleague at University of Florida, to conduct a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) survey. They will collect detailed elevation data that can reveal the distribution of ancient Maya settlements like house mounds or pyramids. While not focused on the coast, the project will help the team better understand the relationship between inland and coastal communities.

Please visit http://costaescondida.org for more information on the project.

On this project, Glover and Rissolo teamed with Dr. Patricia Beddows (Northwestern University), Dr. Beverly Goodman (University of Haifa), Dr. Derek Smith (University of Washington), and others under the auspices of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).

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Develop Ethical Hacking Skills With The Ethical Hacking Course In Bangalore

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Almost everything in today’s technological world is easily hackable. There is nothing that is 110% secure from malicious hackers. This gives rise to the need for ethical hackers and various other individuals that work to provide safety from cyber-terrorism. The ethical hacking course in Bangalore is, thus, carefully designed for students to develop the concepts and skills of ethical hacking. 

The idea of ethical hacking enables professionals to access a system through ethical hacking methods. These allow the ethical hacker to imitate the hacking strategies used by a possible malicious attacker. To prevent the attacker from exploiting the system, these practices help detect any security loopholes. Individuals who wish to build careers in the cybersecurity field and are interested in technology can join the ethical hacking course available in Bangalore. 

A 5-day training course, the certified ethical hacking course in Bangalore, is typically detailed. It provides students with the training required to qualify for the ethical hacking exam. This certification is designed to train the students practically to help them master ethical hacking skills. The syllabus of this training course is tailored to help you develop skills from scratch. These include trojan countermeasures, IDS firewalls, packet analysis, advanced hacking concepts, technologies related to online and mobile, etc.

Several opportunities come with enrolling in an ethical hacking course. The trainers available for the ethical hacking courses have the working experience of over ten years of. Individuals can not only find placements in good companies with the assistance of a dedicated team. But also improve their existing ethical hacking skills to boost their professional career. If you are a fresher, this course will give you the best job opportunities. 

There are training packages available to suit your needs. You can pick online courses that highly experienced instructors lead. Depending on the course provider, the classes may last between 90 minutes to 4 hours. 

There are also offline options that allow you to take classes on weekends or weekdays. You can also join the corporate training to upskill your ethical hacking knowledge. Anybody wishing to build a cybersecurity career is eligible for this course.

An ethical hacking course in Bangalore may take a minimum of 5 to 10 days if you have prior coding knowledge. However, learning ethical hacking skills can take anywhere between 18 months to 6 years. Regarding the cost range for this course in India, the fees for such courses are generally feasible. They could range from 3k INR to 50k INR. You can also apply for UG and PG courses besides these training courses. There are courses for ethical hacking that may cost up to 3 lakhs INR. 

Today, several job opportunities and career scopes await the candidates for ethical hacking courses in Bangalore. Once you have completed this course, you can take on various job roles. These include cybersecurity analysts, penetration testers, cybersecurity engineers, information security analysts, and analysts. Moreover, these jobs will monthly earn you from 29k to 41k INR.

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DCA Course – Get Started in Your Career

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The DCA Course In Patna is a great opportunity for you to take a course that will help you to get started in your career. There are many benefits of taking this course and it will help you to be better able to understand the different parts of accounting and finance.

University of Calcutta

The University of Calcutta is an institution of higher education established in 1857 by the Legislative Council of British India. It has 160 affiliated colleges. There are several colleges in the city offering courses in the field of computer application.

DCA is a one-year diploma course, which offers students an understanding of different computer applications. Upon completion, graduates can apply for a variety of job roles. These include software developer, technical writer, web designer, quality assurance engineer, application support engineer and system analyst.

The course is offered by both public and private universities in the country. The average cost of the course varies by location. Applicants can also attend the course as distance learners. They pay less than on-campus students.

Students interested in taking the DCA course should review the program’s requirements before registering. Several college websites provide information on the application process. In addition, a DCA student will be able to obtain course materials in the institution’s library. Interested candidates can also consult teachers and other educational sources.

Applicants for the DCA degree must be able to demonstrate a strong understanding of the basics of computer applications. This includes the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). Additionally, the candidate must have a thorough understanding of the theories and concepts of computer applications.

Cost of the course

DCA is a certification that will help you get the job you want. It is a course in computers that provides you with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in this field.

The cost of DCA course depends on the educational institution and the type of course you are looking to enroll in. For example, a short course might cost you INR 5000 to 20,000 while a one year course can cost you INR 25,000 to 30,000.

Despite the price tag, you’ll be able to find a variety of opportunities. Some of them include software development, BPOs, data entry, technical writer, web designer, computer operator, and application support engineer. You might also find a career in the air force or in the telephone industries.

Another important aspect of the DCA course is that you are given a certificate that shows your proficiency in the application fields. This will make you eligible for the industry, and will also serve as a stepping stone to the next level of education.

In addition to these skills, you’ll be taught how to handle large amounts of information and how to use programs to make your life easier. While you’re taking the DCA course, you’ll also learn how to create your own websites and set up email marketing campaigns.

Job opportunities for DCA graduates

DCA (Diploma in Computer Applications) is a certificate course that is designed for aspiring computer aspirants. It is a six to twelve month short term curriculum that imparts in-depth knowledge of various computer applications.

There are several advantages associated with a DCA course, such as its training and the in-depth knowledge gained. In addition, it is not difficult to find good DCA jobs in India, particularly the state of Madhya Pradesh. This is because the state has one of the highest numbers of DCA graduates.

The DCA course can be completed via distance learning. Many institutes provide distant instruction to students. For example, the Amity University Online offers a Diploma in Computer Application.

A DCA certificate can lead to a number of prestigious job titles. These include computer operator, software designer, and networking and internetworking professionals. Those with the desired skills can expect a higher pay package for a good DCA job.

To find a DCA job in the state of Madhya Pradesh, you can go to Jobskar. Here, you can apply to several positions and get an idea of the DCA salary.

You can also check out the DCA Employment page for current employment opportunities. There are many government departments, PSUs, and private sectors that are looking for qualified candidates.

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What Does a Genealogist Do?

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What Genealogy Is?

Genealogy is the study of family history and lineage. It involves researching and documenting the lives of ancestors, building family trees, and uncovering connections between different generations.

The Role of a Genealogist

Genealogy specialists, also known as genealogists, play a crucial role in this field by conducting research, analyzing information, and communicating their findings to clients and other researchers. They use a variety of tools and resources to uncover the past and piece together the stories of our ancestors.

Researching Ancestry

Identifying and locating relevant records

Is a key aspect of genealogy research. Genealogy specialists use a variety of sources to gather information, including vital records (such as birth, marriage, and death certificates), census records, church records, and military records. They may also use newspapers, diaries, and letters to gain insight into the lives of their ancestors.

Analyzing and interpreting information

Analyzing and interpreting the information found in these records is another important step in the research process. Genealogy specialists must be able to read and understand old documents, decipher handwriting, and make connections between different pieces of information. They must also be able to identify and overcome any potential roadblocks, such as missing records or conflicting information.

Utilizing online resources and databases

Is increasingly important in genealogy research. Genealogy specialists use a variety of online tools, including genealogy websites, digital archives, and social media platforms to access a wealth of information and connect with other researchers.

Building Family Trees

Gathering and organizing information

Is the foundation of building a family tree. Genealogy specialists use the information they have researched to create a comprehensive and accurate representation of their client’s ancestors. They must be able to organize and keep track of a large amount of information, including names, dates, and locations.

Creating and maintaining a family tree

Is a process that requires attention to detail and the ability to think critically. Genealogy specialists use software and other tools to create visual representations of family trees, including charts, diagrams and graphs. They must also be able to update and modify the tree as new information is discovered.

Identifying and solving problems in the tree

Is an ongoing process for genealogy specialists. As they research and build a tree, they may encounter issues such as missing information, conflicting data, or duplicate ancestors. They must be able to identify these issues and use their research skills to find solutions and correct errors in the tree.

Communicating and Collaborating

Interacting with clients and other researchers

This is an important aspect of a genealogy specialist’s job. They must be able to communicate effectively with clients to understand their research goals and provide updates on their progress. They also communicate with other researchers and genealogy experts to share information and collaborate on projects.

Sharing information and collaborating on projects

Is essential to advancing genealogy research. Genealogy specialists often work with a team of researchers or join online communities to share information and ideas. They may also contribute to online databases and forums to help others in their research.

Presenting findings and creating reports

This is the final step in a genealogy specialist’s work. They must be able to present their findings in a clear and concise manner, whether it be through written reports, oral presentations, or visual aids. They should also be able to provide recommendations for further research and the next steps for the client.

Professional Development and Certification

  • Education and training opportunities:
    Genealogy specialists can continue to improve their skills by attending workshops, classes, and conferences.
  • Certifications and credentials:
    Many organizations offer certifications for genealogy specialists, which can demonstrate their expertise and professional standing in the field.
  • Staying current with industry developments:
    Genealogy research is a constantly evolving field, and genealogy specialists must stay up-to-date with new technologies, resources, and best practices.

Conclusion

Genealogy specialists are experts in researching and documenting family history, building family trees, and uncovering connections between different generations. They use various tools and resources to gather information, analyze and interpret it, and present their findings to clients and other researchers. They also participate in professional development and may seek certifications to demonstrate their expertise. Genealogy is a profession that requires skill, knowledge and patience to discover the history of one’s family.

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