Exploring the Sacred Significance of Cave 2 at Chawak But'o'ob, Belize

Author(s): Denise Killeen; C. L. Kieffer

Year: 2016


The site of Chawak But'o'ob in the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area of northwestern Belize is being investigated by the Rio Bravo Archaeological Survey. The site, located just two kilometers southwest of the minor Preclassic- and Classic-period city of Dos Hombres, is unusual in that it is a modestly sized commoner residential site with a ballcourt. Very unusually, the paired ballcourt buildings are the largest at the site and perhaps along with the adjacent sweat house, are the only ritual structures identified in this ancient community. Chawak But'o'ob's ballcourt complex is further differentiated from others in the Maya area with its close proximity to two caves. Cave 2 is located approximately 10 meters south and west of the ballcourt. This poster aims to explore that cave's connection to rain rituals and the underworld based upon landscape modification near the cave and the artifact assemblage found within the cave. This poster will also explore the temporal relationship of Cave 2's utilization in relation to the temporal occupation of the site, and discuss how this may help explain the construction of a ballcourt within a primarily residential site.

Cite this Record

Exploring the Sacred Significance of Cave 2 at Chawak But'o'ob, Belize. Denise Killeen, C. L. Kieffer. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404885)

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Geographic Keywords
Central America

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.702; min lat: 6.665 ; max long: -76.685; max lat: 18.813 ;