Bayesian Approaches for Chronology-Building in Maya Archaeology: Direct AMS 14C Dating of Burials in the Belize River Valley
Chronology-building in Maya archaeology has long been dominated by relative ceramic typologies based on excavations conducted in the 1950s, with date ranges temporally grounded by long-count calendar dates and a small number of imprecise radiocarbon dates. Higher-precision chronologies based on more recent methodological innovations in radiocarbon dating, including Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) 14C dating, Bayesian statistical modeling of radiocarbon dates, and ultrafiltration and XAD purification of bone collagen samples remain under-employed in Lowland Maya archaeology. Here we present a new research program that directly dates burials from sites across the Belize River Valley, located in the central Maya lowlands. This region is notable as the location of the well-known site of Barton Ramie, where one of these early and influential ceramic chronologies was developed. Using a priori contextual information from grave goods and stratigraphic relationships, we present high-precision AMS 14C dates of burials from the sites of Barton Ramie, Baking Pot, and Cahal Pech. We use Bayesian chronological models to constrain radiocarbon distributions, serving as the framework to develop more precise time frames for ceramic types, complexes, and phases in the Belize Valley and elsewhere in the Maya Lowlands.
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Bayesian Approaches for Chronology-Building in Maya Archaeology: Direct AMS 14C Dating of Burials in the Belize River Valley. Julie Hoggarth, Brendan Culleton, Claire Ebert, Jaime Awe, Douglas Kennett. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430504)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 14558