The Ancient Maya Settlement of Waybil, Belize: Middle-Level and Hinterland Settlement Investigations

Author(s): Pete Demarte; Scott Macrae; Gyles Iannone

Year: 2018


The Classic Maya, with their towering jungle temples and sprawling cities have been the focus of archaeological studies since the mid-1800s. Although numerous investigations have fostered considerable insights, important questions remain regarding the circumstances in which these settlements originated, interacted, developed, and were ultimately abandoned. The organization of Maya settlements is best conceptualized as a continuum consisting of three basic, but variable types, including: upper-level, middle-level, and lower-level settlements. This discussion reviews the primary research results for the full-coverage survey and test-excavation program conducted at the middle-level hinterland settlement of Waybil, Belize, Central America. The overall result was the collection of valuable information concerning the development of the central courtyard, peripheral settlement groups, and relic agricultural terraces found within the site. Middle-level settlements such as Waybil are unique units within the continuum as they are smaller and more specialized than upper-level settlements, but larger and more diverse than lower-level settlements. Thus, they are thought to have performed distinct roles and functions within the greater settlement matrix. Exploring the configuration of individual middle-level settlements is essential to improving our knowledge of ancient Maya socio-political and socio-economic interactions, hinterland archaeology, human-environment adaptive strategies, and the circumstances surrounding the Classic period "collapse".

Cite this Record

The Ancient Maya Settlement of Waybil, Belize: Middle-Level and Hinterland Settlement Investigations. Pete Demarte, Scott Macrae, Gyles Iannone. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443840)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -92.153; min lat: -4.303 ; max long: -50.977; max lat: 18.313 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22132