Balance of Trade, Balance of Power: Marine and riverine networks in Belize

Author(s): Elizabeth Graham; Scott Simmons

Year: 2015


The Caribbean sea, like the Mediterranean, was a facilitator of travel and communication. In the case of Belize, the relatively shallow waters of the coastal shelf sheltered water-borne Caribbean traffic, and the bevy of coral islands or cayes served as way stations for far-flung coastal trade. Essential to communities in the Maya area, however, was the transfer of goods from the coast to river and lake ports for inland distribution. In this presentation, we endeavour to summarise information from the Belize sites of Marco Gonzalez, on Ambergris Caye, and Lamanai, on the New River Lagoon, to explore the role of ports in Maya economy. In the case of Marco Gonzalez and Lamanai, we also examine their occupation longevity as a reflection of a commercial dynamic that seems to have been both dependent on, but in some way separate from, inland politics and power.

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Cite this Record

Balance of Trade, Balance of Power: Marine and riverine networks in Belize. Elizabeth Graham, Scott Simmons. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396585)


Coastal Sites Maya Trade

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;