Here be Dragons: Archaeology in North Central Belize.

Part of: Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015)

Starting in the 1970s with excavations at Altun Ha, and continuing into the 21st century with work at Lamanai, Ka'Kabish, Chau Hiix and sites in the Hillbank area, and other locations, North-Central Belize has been the focus of considerable archaeological work. This symposium is intended to highlight work done in this region of Belize. By bringing the work done by projects in this area together, along with research spanning the Middle Formative through to the Historic period, we hope to integrate the research produced by these projects into a larger regional discussion of Maya politics and society.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-10 of 10)

  • Documents (10)

  • Dragons through a Ceramic Lens: Evidence for a North-Central Belize Ceramic (Sub)-Sphere (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Kerry Sagebiel.

    As viewed through a ceramic lens, it is becoming evident that North-Central Belize was distinct from surrounding areas. Starting in the Middle Preclassic, the ceramics of the Swasey/Bladen Sphere of North-Central Belize are notably different than those of adjacent areas of the Belize Valley, Peten, and Yucatan. The extent of the Middle Preclassic Swasey/Bladen Sphere is becoming clearer with work at Ka’Kabish and the surrounding area. Similarly, the Terminal Classic/Early Postclassic ceramics...

  • "Forth from this Dark and Lonely Hiding Place": Chultun Excavations at Ka'Kabish (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Toni Gonzalez. Helen R. Haines.

    During three field seasons, chultuns were investigated at three small groups representing the settlement zone, public space, and core near the main plaza of Ka’Kabish. Puleston asserted that chultuns must have a utilitarian function because they are overwhelmingly found in rural, domestic contexts. This very processualist logic denies the possibility of domestic ritual that is so prevalent in Maya ethnography. Furthermore, at Ka’Kabish, Uaxactun, Nakum and other sites, chultuns are regularly...

  • The Island and the Mainland: Connections between Maya Communities on Ambergris Caye and North-Central Belize (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Scott Simmons. Elizabeth Graham.

    Ancient Maya occupation on Ambergris Caye has been documented from Preclassic through Postclassic times. Work at the site of Marco Gonzalez has concentrated on several structures in which we have found solid evidence for connections to Maya polities in northern Belize and beyond. Nonetheless, relationships with mainland communities changed substantially over time. Although the northern location of the caye makes it seem logical that its closest connections were with north-central Belize...

  • "A Mischief that is Past and Gone": Situating Ka’Kabish in the Larger Ancient Maya Political (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Helen Haines. Sagebiel Kerry.

    Discussions of ancient socio-political interactions are most productive when site-specific archaeological data is incorporated into a multi-scalar analysis that includes centres of different distinction. The ability to integrate centres into a nuanced landscape is a luxury derived from a long legacy of archaeological work by different researchers. This work draws upon the increasing large corpus of data created for north-central Belize over the last 50 years. In this paper, we present a...

  • Of Watery Rocks and Slumbering Crocs: A reappraisal of the Middle Preclassic at Altun Ha and Lamanai (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sherman Horn. Terry Powis. David Pendergast.

    A half-century of targeted excavations in northern Belize has generated one of the most detailed databases of Middle Preclassic (900 – 350 B.C.) settlement in the Maya Lowlands. Information from sites such as Cuello, K’axob, and Colha has provided the basis for economic and political models of Preclassic development in northern Belize and the eastern Maya Lowlands in general. The comparatively modest Classic-period architecture at these sites permitted extensive exposures of early occupations,...

  • Place Making, Authority, and Ancestors: New Evidence of Developing Middle Formative Socio-Political Complexity from Ka’Kabish, Northern Belize (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Joshuah Lockett-Harris. Helen Haines. Kerry Sagebiel.

    Northern Belize during the Middle Formative Period (1000-300 B.C.E.) has increasing become recognized as a critical locus in the development of Lowland Maya socio-political complexity. This period witnessed the founding of numerous ceremonial centers, substantial material cultural innovation, and the advent of mortuary practices indicating developing social differentiation in Northern Belize. Recent excavations at the site of Ka’Kabish in Northern Belize have uncovered evidence significantly...

  • The Production and Exchange of Early Postclassic Elite Wares in the Eastern Maya Lowlands (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Carmen Ting.

    This paper investigates the role played by Marco Gonzalez in the production and exchange of elite wares, as represented by the Zakpah ceramics, during the Early Postclassic period. Located in Ambergris Caye off the coast of northern Belize, Marco Gonzalez was occupied continuously throughout the Classic to Postclassic transition, with strong Early Postclassic (ca. AD950/1000–1200/1250) evidence yielding one of the largest Zakpah ceramic assemblages alongside Lamanai. By using various...

  • Recent Excavations in the ‘Ottawa’ Plaza N10[3] Palace Group at Lamanai (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Karen Pierce. Claude Belanger. Elizabeth Graham.

    Individual structures of the ‘Ottawa’ Plaza N10[3] Palace Group at Lamanai have been the focus of excavation at various times since Pendergast’s first investigations there in 1981. The time of inception of construction remains unknown, but the group is notable in that its structures were altered, added to, and occupied into the Early Postclassic period. Recent excavations of Str. N10-15 have yielded information on a flurry of activity in the Late and Terminal Classic. Results will be discussed...

  • Recent Historical-Archaeological Study of the Late-Colonial Period at Lamanai, Belize (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Sarah Wolff. Tracie Mayfield.

    Very few studies have focused on eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Northwestern Belize and to this end, the relationships between people, space, and objects operating within this region during the late colonial period are poorly understood. Previous archaeological investigations at Lamanai recovered data that clearly indicated the presence of materials associated with day-to-day behaviors generally linked to late-colonial industrial and residential activities; such as cooking and eating,...

  • The Same, but Different (2015)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Anne Pyburn.

    Variations in the architecture, settlement patterns, local environmental context, and occupational history of Maya archaeological sites are difficult to assess. Which differences are culturally meaningful? Which similarities indicate social relationships, and if so what sort of relationships? Which differences are simply a result of local climate and available building materials? In this paper I will examine some of the similarities and differences among the three Maya sites in North-Central...