Beneath the Blue-Green Trees: Understanding the Built Environment of Yaxox through Lidar Analysis

Author(s): Shane Montgomery; Jaime Awe

Year: 2017


The Upper Belize River Valley hosted a high density of ancient Maya settlement from the Early Preclassic Period onward, supported by abundant fertile alluvial floodplains. In addition to the handful of major civic-ceremonial centers spread along the valley, the region also sustained numerous middle-tier administrative, ceremonial, and residential loci. The site of Yaxox, strategically situated at the confluence of the Macal and Mopan rivers, provides an intriguing example of a minor civic-ceremonial locale. Despite the perceived minimal nature of the center, Yaxox features certain architectural elements—such as sacbeob, reservoirs, and a ball court—commonly attributable to larger polities within the valley. Although the site remains understudied, the acquisition of aerial lidar for the region in 2014 allows for the remote analysis of the middle-tier center and its associated built environment. This paper focuses on the utilization of spatial information to analyze the natural landforms and archaeological landscapes surrounding Yaxox. These data will aid in the determination of the relative chronology, role, function, and extent of the site and provide a deeper understanding of the relationship between the middle-tier loci and other, larger surrounding centers such as Cahal Pech, Buenavista del Cayo, and Baking Pot.

Cite this Record

Beneath the Blue-Green Trees: Understanding the Built Environment of Yaxox through Lidar Analysis. Shane Montgomery, Jaime Awe. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429677)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15645