Investigating the Maya Polity at Lower Barton Creek, Cayo, Belize

Author(s): George Kollias; Jaime Awe

Year: 2017


Over fifty years of settlement research in the Belize River Valley has made the region one of the most intensively investigated areas of the Maya Lowlands. Recent LiDAR research by the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance Project identified the previously unknown center of Lower Barton Creek in the southern extent of the Belize Valley, filling in a major gap in our understanding of settlement histories. In this paper, we present the results of settlement survey based on spatial analysis of LiDAR data and the results of excavations in the Lower Barton Creek site core. The goal of this research was to contextualize the site’s occupation within the ancient socio-political dynamics of the Belize River Valley. High-resolution AMS 14C dating and ceramic analysis indicate that Lower Barton Creek was settled by the Middle Preclassic Period (~700-300 AD cal), and quickly grew into a large regional center. A hiatus in activity at the site occurs after AD 300, coinciding with an extended drought documented in regional paleoclimate records. Ceramic evidences indicates that the site core recovers after AD 700 and continues to develop until its abandonment in the Terminal Classic Period around AD 900.

Cite this Record

Investigating the Maya Polity at Lower Barton Creek, Cayo, Belize. George Kollias, Jaime Awe. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429786)

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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 16429