Abstract
        The role of population growth in cultural evolution is a central issue for understanding complex societies. Some theories state that population growth is a natural characteristic of human populations, and given time, a society's population will grow to the maximum level allowed by the available resources. Population pressure may then cause the society to develop social inequality through development a managerial class. Other  theories state that population growth is the result of taxation levied by elites on commoner households. In this case commoner households increase their size to meet increased production requirements. Neither of these theoretical schemes have provided a satisfactory explanation of the relationship between cultural evolution and populatio growth.
    This dissertation tests an agrarian demographic model that explains rapid population growth among the Late Classic Maya. The model is built on historic and ethnographic data and addresses the effects of economic stability and change on agrarian  households. Settlement and lithic data collected from La Milpa, Belize are used to test  the model. The  study concludes that Late Classic Maya population growth was not caused by  household converting from agricultural production to specialized production.