School of Geography
 

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Haydar Martinez-Dyrzo

PhD Student,

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Biography

I am interested in climate change during the Quaternary and how climate influenced human activity and how the climate was influenced by human impact.

Expertise Summary

I am interested in five areas geochemistry, environmental geography, environmental history, geoarchaeology and palaeoclimatology.

Research Summary

Climate and human agency in the settlement patterns of the Maya Cultural Zone

Scholars have explored how past climates influenced ancient societies. That is the case of the Maya Civilization, whose environmental history has attracted special attention since climate changes appear to be linked with the transition to agriculture and permanent settlements, expansion of their culture, management of resources and, in particular, with the collapse of their civilization at the end of the Mesoamerican Classic period (ca. 900 CE), when a series of droughts occurred.

My research is a palaeoenvironmental reconstruction, using different proxies (stable isotopes, chemical ratios, density, grey scale and charcoal) in sediment cores from three lakes along a transect in the Maya cultural area from lowlands to highlands. The data generated will be used to explore climate - human - ecosystem interactions. The research addresses the old dichotomy between human agency and nature as determining factors in the dynamic of settlement patterns across the Maya Cultural Area.

Past Research

The role of fairchilite in the identification and isotopic signature of woody plant derived ashes in archaeological context.

The identification of wood ash is largely based on the observation of rhomboidal, carbonate pseudomorphs of calcium oxalate crystals. The identification of wood ash is largely based on the observation of rhomboidal, carbonate pseudomorphs of calcium oxalate crystals. Sometimes is difficult to differentiate wood ash from other materials such as plasters, geogenic and biogenic calcite, since the principal component of wood ash is calcium carbonate, CaCO3.

I was involved in a study that considered the physical properties, mineral composition, and isotopic composition of woody plant derived ash for identification of in situ of them in an archaeological context. I was able to explain the useless of the isotopic signature for such issue, and the important role that plays fairchildite in recognizing this kind of ashes in Archaeology.

School of Geography

Sir Clive Granger Building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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