Late Classic Maya Granite Working Community at the Tzib Group, Pacbitun, Belize


The ancient Maya site of Pacbitun is located between two major ecozones, the Belize River Valley and the Mountain Pine Ridge. Excavations from 2012 to 2015 at the Tzib group in the periphery of Pacbitun first revealed evidence of large scale mano and metate production. Excavations into a large mound, dubbed "Mano Mound" because the surface was covered with mano perform fragments, revealed that it was not only a debris pile, but also the workshop platform as well. Large granite flakes, hammer stones, and pottery shards were piled on or swept to the edges of the pile, leaving a flat, square or circular work surface which eventually built up at least 0.75m tall. Shovel testing of the surrounding landscape uncovered evidence that the first mound discovered and excavated is only one in a group of other granite workshop mounds situated among the residential structures. Based on ceramic dating, the granite working community was established in the Late Classic (AD 700-900) period. Workshops of this nature are rarely found, and most of what we know has previously only been gleaned from ethnographic data.

Cite this Record

Late Classic Maya Granite Working Community at the Tzib Group, Pacbitun, Belize. Sheldon Skaggs, Nicaela Cartagena, Michael Lawrence, Terry Powis. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404514) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8MS3VJW

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.706; max lat: 18.799 ;

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SAA2016Poster.pdf 1.28mb Apr 15, 2016 Apr 27, 2016 12:33:17 PM Public
Skaggs et al SAA Poster 2016