A Geospatial Analysis of Landscape Modification in Relation to Burials and Social Control

Author(s): Casey Hegel; Alyssa Haggard

Year: 2015


This poster examines burial construction in relation to landscape modifications in the Rio Bravo region of northwestern Belize. A geospatial analysis was conducted on burials and surrounding features, such as shrines, to determine the Maya social hierarchical system established during the Middle Preclassic, Late Preclassic, and Late Classic periods. This research addresses the interrelationship between altered landscapes and burial locations, which can yield insight into social control. Poor preservation of human remains in studied areas is a factor in the loss of burial and population data. For the scope of this research, population estimates for each time period were compared to the burial data collected from selected sites. The objective of this study is to compare population estimates to the burial data to see if the number of burials found correlates to these estimates. By analyzing this comparative data, we hypothesize most individuals were interred outside of the perimeters of selected sites, perhaps in communal burials. More investigation of the landscape outside of site centers is needed to determine the locations of other burials and how those are interred in relation to the landscape.

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A Geospatial Analysis of Landscape Modification in Relation to Burials and Social Control. Alyssa Haggard, Casey Hegel. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398290)

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Spatial Coverage

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