Terminal Classic Terminal Deposits at Chan, Belize

Author(s): Cynthia Robin; Laura Kosakowsky

Year: 2018


This presentation examines a series of terminal deposits at the ancient Maya farming community of Chan in Belize, Central America. We propose a contextual analysis of terminal deposits to facilitate the development of archaeological interpretations that move beyond the static category of "problematical deposits." The terminal deposits at Chan are located in its community center, primarily in two locations: in the eastern temple and southern range structure of Chan’s central group. The deposits date to the period of the depopulation and abandonment of the community and are interpreted as terminal deconsecratory acts by the community’s final residents. Most terminal deposits were placed on final structure floors and covered by collapse debris that accumulated through time. One unique terminal deposit, on the final structure floors of a diviner’s room, was carefully buried in a lens of fine sascab suggesting that special care and attention was taken to "bury" the terminal deposits in this room. Examined in context, Chan’s terminal deposits shed light on the uses of key buildings in a community center and illustrate how a dwindling population deconsecrated their buildings at the end of the occupation of a community.

Cite this Record

Terminal Classic Terminal Deposits at Chan, Belize. Cynthia Robin, Laura Kosakowsky. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444067)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -94.197; min lat: 16.004 ; max long: -86.682; max lat: 21.984 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 22495