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Settlement scaling theory predicts that higher site densities lead to increased social interactions that, in turn, boost productivity. The scaling relationship between population and land area holds for several ancient societies, but as demonstrated by the sample of 48 sites in this study, it does not hold for the Northern Maya Lowlands. Removing smaller sites from the sample brings the results closer to scaling expectations. We argue that applications of scaling theory benefit by considering social interaction as a product not only of proximity but also of daily life and spatial layouts.


Published in Hutson, S., Chase, A., Glover, J., Ringle, W., Stanton, T., Witschey, W., & Ardren, T. (2023). Settlement Scaling in the Northern Maya Lowlands: Human-Scale Implications. Latin American Antiquity, 1-8. doi:10.1017/laq.2022.103

Published by Cambridge University Press.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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