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Maya (Other Keyword)

1-25 (483 Records)

1996 BC Report (1996)

DOCUMENT Thomas Guderjan. David Driver. Heather Clagett. Helen Haines.

The Blue Creek project is marked by a broadening research design which remains focused on understanding the Blue Creek site core while, at the same time, allowing us to expand our forays into other sites and other issues. While past seasons have been marked by revolutionary changes in how we perceive Blue Creek, this year was marked by an increased depth of understanding. The year, we began shifting focus to the residential and agricultural aspects of the Blue Creek community as well as the...


2000 Years of Eating: Continuity and change in food practices among the Puuc Maya (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT George Bey. Stephanie Simms. Betsy Kohut.

This paper examines the evidence for what and how the Maya of the Puuc region ate during the long history of occupation of this region. Data collected from almost two decades of research by the Bolonchen Regional Archaeological Project and covering close to two millennium of occupation are used in this exploration of eating. Household archaeology primarily from the site of Kiuic and the suburban site of Stairway to Heaven, and ceramic data from throughout the BRAP study area provide insights...


Accelerating the "Maddeningly Slow Work of Archaeology" in the Forested Maya Lowlands (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Francisco Estrada-Belli.

Investigations in the thickly forested Peten region is complicated by lack of roads, water, communications, visibility and other things we often take for granted even in archaeology. In most cases the time it takes for results of such field work to reach a general audience can be measured in years. Many of us have turned to technology to alleviate this situation but the gains can be less than what is expected. The advent of GPS handheld devices have been useful to locate sites (and ourselves)...


Activity Area Analysis of Elite and Commoner Spaces in the Ancient Maya City of Actuncan, Belize (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT Lisa LeCount. Kara A. Fulton. David W. Mixter. E. Christian Wells. Thomas R. Jamison.

This report describes the results of a geochemical analysis of nearly 1,000 samples from earthen and plaster surfaces at Actuncan, a prehispanic Maya city in western Belize. Studies of the social, political, and economic relationships between elites and commoners demonstrate that the lived experiences of both groups were dramatically different. However, we know little about how social roles and relationships impacted the organization and daily use of domestic and public spaces. Multivariate...


Activity Area Analysis of Terminal Classic period Civic Architecture at Actuncan, Belize (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT David Mixter.

Researchers have long hypothesized that the 9th century Maya collapse resulted in the end of divine kingship as the dominant political form in the southern Maya Lowlands. In post-royal settlements, tall pyramids and labyrinthine palace spaces are deemphasized in favor of more publically-accessible open courtyards and broad platforms. Some scholars have argued for the increasing prevalence of council houses based on architectural layouts and the iconography of sculptural programs. However, little...


Aknah and the moon spiners: gender relations and rituals in caves. (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Adriana Sanchez.

Mensabak Lake, in the Lacandon Rainforest, is surrounded by caves that were used as pilgrimage destinations and for different rituals in the Protohistoric period. The role of Maya women in the rituals and ceremonies has been delimited to fertility and dependency stereotypes not only in the historical documents but in the archaeological research. This presentation discusses Maya women’s participation in a multi-regional pilgrimage network having Mensabak as the epicentre.


All the Underworld’s a Stage: Ancient Maya Ritual Stages of Xibalba (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Cameron Griffith. Brent Woodfill.

Ancient Maya rulers dramatically gave offerings to the gods and ancestors on behalf of the local population, and the spectacle was central to the maintenance of the social hierarchy. Some of these public ceremonies took place in in the subterranean realm of Xibalba, from the vantage point of visible, elevated areas within cave sites. The actors using the ritual stages described in this paper, whether from large urban centers or smaller villages in the countryside, would have used the...


American Pompeii: Old evidence on Late Classic ties between the Pacific Coast and the Antigua valley (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Oswaldo Chinchilla.

An archaeological collection from finca Pompeya in the Antigua Guatemala valley provides significant information about Late Classic interaction with the adjacent Pacific coast. Excavated in 1893, the collection was eventually scattered to several museums in Germany, the United States, and Guatemala. However, it can be reconstructed from a photograph made not long after the discovery, and from newspaper reports that provide rough descriptions of the excavations. The objects themselves are still...


An Analysis of Ceramic Function from the Sacred Landscape Archaeological Project, La Milpa, Belize (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT Lauren Copeland. Jocelyn Acosta. Marilyn Bueno.

In 2014 and 2015, the California State University, Los Angeles Sacred Landscape Archaeological Project carried out investigations of a collapsed chultun at the site of La Milpa in northern Belize. Excavation revealed a heavy concentration of ceramic and artifacts immediately surrounding the collapse with concentrations dropping precipitously only a few meters from the complex. This report analyzes the ceramic sherds recovered in excavation. The ceramics were sorted into six categories:...


Analysis of Marine Sediment to Explain Sea-level Rise in Paynes Creek National Park, Belize (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Kurt Dilores. Heather McKillop.

Archaeological research in Paynes Creek National Park, Belize provides insight into environmental changes over time. Sea-level rise has affected coastal Maya settlements during both the Classic and Postclassic Periods. Marine sediment samples from five submerged Classic Period Maya sites were exported under permit to the Archaeology lab at Louisiana State University where the samples were analyzed using loss-on ignition and microscopic sorting. The results from loss-on ignition as well as...


Analyzing Ancient Maya Settlement Patterns through the Geochemical Analysis of Obsidian Artifacts in Southern Belize. (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT Amy Thompson. Keith M. Prufer.

This poster examines the distribution of obsidian across space and time among two Classic Period Maya centers, Uxbenká and Ix Kuku’il, located in the southern foothills of the Maya Mountains, Belize, Central America. Data from portable x-ray florescence analyses at Uxbenká suggests that neither the period of occupation, distance of a settlement group to the site core, nor the social status of group residents impacted the availability of obsidian source-group material, suggesting Uxbenká...


Ancestors, Agency, and Formation Processes: Interpreting Problematical "Smash and Trash Deposits" at Ka’Kabish, Belize (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Kerry Sagebiel. Helen Haines.

Maya archaeologists commonly discover "smash-and-trash" deposits, collections consisting of large quantities of broken sherds, lithics, faunal materials, and other remains, in varying contexts on Maya sites. Interpretations of these deposits vary from simple trash or midden deposits, to remains of feasting, to termination and other rituals. These interpretations are often strongly influenced by the theoretical and analytical approaches taken by the excavators. At Ka’Kabish, Belize, a series of...


The Ancient City of Dos Hombres: Material Expressions of Power (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Rissa Trachman.

Investigations at the ancient Maya city of Dos Hombres have been guided by an interest in social, political and economic organization, based on architecture and material culture remains. Excavations in the civic ceremonial center of Dos Hombres have been focused in the northern plaza, a very public space that likely was a place of commerce, public ritual and sacred space, thereby the prime backdrop for publicly legitimizing authority. Newly excavated data, especially architectural exposures as...


Ancient Impacts on a Modern Environment: Soil Management and Intensive Agriculture in a Pre-Columbium Urban Context (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT Caroline Antonelli.

This paper investigates the relationship between soil enrichment and ancient urban environments. I will measure the degree to which ancient settlement density and modern agricultural potential correlate. At the Postclassic Maya center of Mayapan, a spatial concentration of black, midden-like soils have been identified by local farmers. Results of systematic soil transect samples tested for physical and chemical properties reveal agricultural potential. Soils from the urban center were compared...


Ancient Maya Agricultural Techniques: Investigations of Possible Terracing at the Site of Actuncan, Belize (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Theresa Heindel.

Recent studies on ancient Maya agriculture address differences in farming methods used within the Maya area, and the implications these differences have for larger issues within Maya studies. Excavations conducted during the Actuncan Archaeological Project 2015/2016 field seasons examined GPR anomalies in the Northern Neighborhood region of the Actuncan, Belize site; the proposed poster will discuss evidence of terracing obtained from these excavations, including how these probable terraces were...


Ancient Maya Animal Use at El Mirador: Subsistence, ceremony, exchange and environmental resiliency (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Erin Thornton. Richard Hansen. Edgar Suyuc.

El Mirador (Peten, Guatemala) is among the largest Preclassic settlements in the Maya lowlands. The site has attracted attention due to its size and antiquity, but also for its location within a region containing few permanent or perennial water sources. This study presents a preliminary analysis of the site’s faunal remains to assess diet, ritual, habitat use and exchange. Comparison of the El Mirador data with other Preclassic faunal assemblages allows us to assess the degree to which animal...


Ancient Maya Craft Specialization in the Belize Valley (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT Kelsey Sullivan. Jaime J. Awe.

Archaeological investigations during the last 20 years in Western Belize has recorded considerable evidence of craft specialization in this lowland Maya sub-region. Much of this information, however, has never been synthesized, thus providing us with a foggy lens through which to view the complexity of craft production, distribution and interaction at the intra- and inter-regional level. In an effort to address this situation, this paper examines different types of craft specialization in the...


Ancient Maya lithic craft specialization at Colha, Belize (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Thomas Hester. Harry J. Shafer.

Beginning in the Middle Preclassic, the rise of small centers in the agricultural area of Northern Belize gave impetus to the intensive manufacture of stone tools at Colha. Craft specialization, mass production and export of stone tools and symbols were deeply entrenched by Late Preclassic times. Examples will be provided on the use of certain tool forms in agriculture and construction through out the region. Additionally, some artifacts were made mainly for caches, lithic symbols, and...


Ancient Maya Salt Making Activities as Revealed Through Underwater Excavations and Sediment Chemistry, Paynes Creek National Park, Belize (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT E. Cory Sills. Heather McKillop. Christian Wells.

Underwater excavations at Early Classic Chan b’i (A.D. 300-600) and Late Classic Atz’aam Na (A.D. 600-900) ancient Maya salt works in Paynes Creek National Park, Belize, reveal activity areas associated with a substantial salt industry for distribution to the southern Maya inland inhabitants. At these sites, wooden architecture and salt making artifacts are abundantly preserved in a peat bog composed of red mangrove. We describe the excavation methods at this shallow, submerged underwater site,...


Ancient Urbanites: The Spatial and Social Organization of Outlying Temple Groups at Ceibal, Guatemala (2017)

Citation DOCUMENT Melissa Burham.

Recent investigations of minor temple groups at Ceibal, Guatemala shed light on the social and spatial organization of ancient Maya cities. Many researchers suggest that minor temples were important integrative hubs in lowland Maya settlements. Because minor temples were constructed at regular intervals around the urban epicenter of Ceibal, it appears that they were integral to city planning, and likely the centers of localized communities. Although they may have been discrete social units, the...


Ancient Water Collection and Storage in the Elevated Interior Region of the Maya Lowlands (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT Nicholas Dunning. Jeffrey Brewer. Timothy Beach. Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach. Vernon Scarborough.

The Elevated Interior Region (EIR) of the Maya Lowlands posed especially difficult challenges for year-round ancient human occupation and urbanization. Accessible surface and groundwater sources are rare and a 5-month dry season necessitated the annual collection and storage of rainwater in order to concentrate human population. Here we review ancient Maya water storage adaptation in the EIR including urban and hinterland reservoirs as well as residential scale tanks and cisterns. Large...


Animal Resource Use and Management by Naachtun's Elite (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT Mylène Bourdely.

The Naachtun Project has collected a large faunal assemblage since the first field campaign. This material is analyzed as part of doctoral research focusing on the site's subsistence economy. The analysis is based on specific archaeozoological methods, through which it is possible to identify the different animal remains and draw up a list of the species that were used by the site's ancient inhabitants. Many preliminary issues must be resolved: Which were the acquisition strategies of these...


Animal Use at Nixtun-Ch'ich': Preclassic Canids, Postclassic Crocodiles, and Contact Period Cows (2016)

Citation DOCUMENT Tucker Austin. Carolyn Freiwald. Melissa Quartarone. Hali Niles. Timothy Pugh.

A number of general trends characterize changes in Maya animal use over time. Previous studies have found that remains of dogs are most common in Preclassic contexts, while Classic period elite deposits typically consist mainly of large game, such as whitetail deer. Native species remained important even after the introduction of European domesticated species during the Contact and Colonial periods. Unfortunately, large faunal deposits that span multiple time periods are absent at most Maya...


The Antigua Valley, Guatemala: Dating and Contexts of the Middle Preclassic Period (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Eugenia Robinson.

Evidence of sedentism in the Antigua Valley begins in the Middle Preclassic Period at the archaeological sites of Urias and Rucal, located at the head of a corridor to the Pacific coast. This area has evidence of mobile Early Preclassic peoples as early as 1400 B.C. Middle Preclassic finds at Urias and Rucal include middens, bottle-shaped pits, stone markers, platforms, a burial, and pottery similar to Charcas types from Kaminaljuyu and Naranjo. Radiocarbon dating and stratigraphy could...


Any Port in a Storm: Identifying Port Infrastructure and Architecture in the Upper Usumacinta (2015)

Citation DOCUMENT Nicoletta Maestri. Arianna Campiani.

For the Classic period, recent regional studies in the Usumacinta basin have proposed a mixed system of communication involving both waterborne and inland routes. Circulation of people and things along these routes depended on physiographic features as well as political boundaries. Several settlements located on strategic points along these itineraries could have controlled and/or facilitated the transit. Some of these sites, due to their proximity to the river course, might have been ports and...

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Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America