by Isis Davis-Marks/Smithsonianmag.com
Around the fifth or sixth century C.E., the Tierra Blanca Joven (TBJ) volcanic eruption caused mass devastation in El Salvador. Scholars are divided on how the region’s Maya inhabitants responded to the natural disaster, but a new study suggests they proved surprisingly resilient, using rock spewed by the volcano to construct a monumental pyramid within decades of the eruption.
As George Dvorsky reports for Gizmodo, Akira Ichikawa, an archaeologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, drew on excavations and radiocarbon dating to assess the so-called Campana structure, which once towered over San Andrés in El Salvador’s Zapotitán Valley. His findings, published in the journal Antiquity, indicate that the Maya began building the pyramid out of tephra, or white volcanic ash, and earth fill within 5 to 30 years of the eruption. At most, construction began 80 years after the eruption.
“Events like eruptions and drought have often been considered a main factor in ancient collapse, abandonment or decline,” Ichikawa tells National Geographic’s Erin Blakemore. “My research suggests ancient people were more resilient, flexible and innovative.”
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.
She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with her husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescues.