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Vernon Scarborough

Distinguished Research Professor and Charles Phelps Taft Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Dr. Vernon Scarborough’s interests include settlement, land use, and water management in the context of the archaic state. Through the lens of ancient engineered water systems and landscapes, his research addresses sustainability issues from a comparative ecological perspective. Since 1992, he has been co-director of the Programme for Belize Archaeological Project, and is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee with IHOPE (Integrated History for the Future of the People of Earth), for both the global (Berlin meeting) and the regional Asia, and the Americas initiatives. Dr. Scarborough has published 7 books and over 70 book chapters and journal articles and is currently (at the time of production) editing the volume Water and Humanity: A Historical Overview for UNESCO, a major initiative of their International Hydrological Program (Delft).

Questions in this interview:

  • What are your research interests? (00:15)
  • What can the Maya teach us about water conservation? (01:16)
  • How did the Mayans deal with dirty/gray water? (05:32)
  • What was the Maya approach to water management? (08:52)


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