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Sacrifice in the Name of Ancestors: An Analysis of the Relationships between Terminus Groups and Site Cores in the Belize Valley

Author(s): Steve Fox ; Jaime Awe

Year: 2017

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Summary

The functions of cosmologically oriented structures within the site core of Ancient Maya sites have been analyzed by archaeologist throughout time. However, the role of terminus groups in relation to the function of site cores have received little attention. In this paper, we analyze the function of the Zopilote Complex, a Terminus group located south of the Cahal Pech site core. Excavations on Str. 1 at Zopilote uncovered two elite burials accompanied by evidence of human sacrifice. Furthermore, a Terminal Classic (600-900 A.D.) deposit was excavated on the west side of STR 2 containing over 50,000 ceramic sherds, chert cores and flakes, obsidian blades, and fragments of a Pedregal Modeled Incensarios We argue that archeological evidence from both structures indicate that extensive ritual activities were conducted at Zopilote from, Late Preclassic (300 B.C- 250A.D) to Terminal Classic times, in association with ancestor rituals. Our hypothesis of the function of Zopilote as a ritual center will be cross compared with the site core of Cahal Pech in order to establish any correlates that illustrate the relationship between terminus groups and site cores and how this relationship coincides with the ancient Maya worldview. s


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Sacrifice in the Name of Ancestors: An Analysis of the Relationships between Terminus Groups and Site Cores in the Belize Valley. Steve Fox, Jaime Awe. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430225)


Keywords

General
Maya

Geographic Keywords
Central America


Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17567

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America