The conventional wisdom says that the devolution of classic Maya civilization occurred because
its population grew too large and dense to be supported by primitive neotropical farming methods,
resulting in debilitating famines and internecine struggles.
The Maya Forest Garden draws on years of the authors’ research to refute this
Malthusian explanation of events in ancient Central America.
• show that ancient Maya farmers developed ingenious, sustainable
woodland techniques to cultivate numerous food plants (including the staple maize);
• examine both contemporary tropical farming techniques and the archaeological record (particularly regarding climate) to reach their conclusions;
• make the argument that these ancient techniques, still in use today, can support significant populations over long periods of time.