Mesopotamian and Mayan’s Different Endings of World: Water and the Anthropocene

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


In our days the Anthropocene is part of everyday life, as well of different scientific approaches and currents of though. It has been pluralized, and decentered in terms of cultural contexts, geography and chronology. The study of ancient civilizations, like the Mesopotamian and the Mayan ones, has typically produced the association of climate and resources changes with their end.
Presently, these two ideas sometimes opposing have merged, giving the impression that these civilizations were at the mercy of Nature, or that the exploitation of their environments was of such greatness that created an “Local” Anthropocene, or an
Anthropocene prior to the Anthropocene.
However, these visions are not considering all the possible relationships that these civilizations developed with water/aquatic environments, throughout time. In fact, even
within the mythical-symbolic sphere these contexts were intrinsically connected with water, given that it was from this compound that it was believed life was both created and
destroyed. Simultaneously, the transformations of the aquatic environments (like draughts or impossibility to access water) contributed to changes, at all levels
With this presentation, I intend to analyze the relationship these two ancient civilizations had with their aquatic environments, in the longue durée, examining aquatic metaphors and
symbols. Through the expression “end of the world”, I will explore both physical and metaphysical ways of collapse related with water, to infer if it there was in fact an aquatic destruction or, on the contrary, human adaptations to changes within their environments.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusUnpublished - 2022
EventIII International Meeting Histories of Nature and Environments: More than just Biodiversity, School of Tourism and Maritime Technology - Politécnico de Leiria - Escola Superior de Turismo e Tecnologia do Mar (ESTM), Peniche, Portugal
Duration: 24 Nov 202226 Nov 2022


ConferenceIII International Meeting Histories of Nature and Environments


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